Senior Fall Prevention: Evaluating the Seniors Abilities

Published by Stephen on March 9, 2010 Under fall prevention

Quite often, the elderly find that certain conditions related to their age can have an effect on their mobility. For example, arthritis is a disease the is very common among seniors and can make many tasks, such as walking, very difficult. These types of diseases are not typically restricted only to the elderly, as arthritis can affect those of all ages, even children, but the risk is much higher among seniors.

The reduction in mobility caused by a diseases like arthritis can have a major impact on all areas of a seniors life and even increase the chance that an injury will occur. Even a small injury can be much more difficult for a senior to recover from, with it increasing the chance that hospitalization will be required, as well as increasing the likelihood that some sort of assisted living facility will be needed.

A reduction in mobility among a senior can have a major affect both in the home and away, but it is more common to see the effects in the seniors living area, as this is where they typically spend most of their time. In the home, it is not uncommon for a senior with arthritis or another mobility related disease to have difficulty using the stairs, bathroom, and even standing or sitting without assistance.

There are several approaches to deal with this type of reduction of mobility among the elderly. For instance, one option is to move to an assisted living facility, where the rooms and living quarters are designed with accessibility in mind. In most assisted living facilities, the bathrooms, both in the individual living quarters and the public areas, are designed with accessibility in mind. The same is true of true of moving between floors, as there is typically multiple elevators, in addition to staircases.

While for many, an assisted living facility may be the best way to ensure that the senior is safe and can easily interact with their environment, they are not always the best choice. This can be for a number of reasons, many of which are personal, such as a reduction in freedom, as well as the high cost of most assisted living communities.

So, depending on the abilities of the senior, it may be best to focus on making their existing living area safer or having them move in with a family member. In these cases, it becomes essential to make sure the living quarters of the senior are safe and fully accessible. This involves taking a look at each room to determine what areas may be difficult to the senior to access, as well as removing or mediating tripping hazards.

The risks and hazards presented by each area of a home can vary depending on the abilities of the senior, as well as the unique characteristics of the house. For example, a senior with glaucoma who can not see well would need to address the dangers of the staircase differently than a senor who can see 20/20, but has difficulty bending their knee. Along the same lines, an interior brick staircase with no handrails and uneven steps, presents a different sort of hazard than a traditional staircase would.

So, when determining how to best make the home more accessible, it is necessary to first thoroughly evaluate the abilities and limitations of the senior, prior to analyzing the safety of each room. Once the abilities of the senior have been determined, you may view our Step By Step Room Evaluation Guide to get an idea of how to evaluate a room for potential fall risk, as well as how to fix many common problems.

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