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Tripping Hazard Control Measures and How to Avoid Them

As people age, motor abilities tend to wane, making elderly loved ones more prone to accidents. According to the CDC, one out of four older adults falls in the United States yearly. While about 36 million falls are reported each year, resulting in more than 32,000 deaths. Knowing the various ways in reducing falls in the elderly can ensure their healthy and long lives. In this article, we will be discussing tripping hazard control measures or other control measures for slips and trips which we should practice at home to prevent accidents. We will focus on the different ways to prevent falls in the elderly and matters regarding fall risk prevention at home.

tripping hazard

Older Adult Falls: One of the Major Causes of Accidents in the Older Adult Populationelderly trips

As previously mentioned, the CDC has stated that about 3 million older adults are treated for injuries caused by falls each year. Fall injuries are not the norm and can be prevented. This article will list down risk control measures for slips trips and falls, including the importance of patient teaching on fall prevention.

Preventive Measures for Slips and Falls:

There are numerous tripping hazard control measures for elderly loved ones. To make things easier to read and digest, I have divided the control measures for slips and trips depending on the particular area of your home. Different areas of our home require different measures to ensure that it is safe for our elderly loved ones. That is why dividing the article per area will be a great way to discuss the various ways in reducing falls in the elderly.

Control Measures for Slips and Falls in your Living Room

We’ll start off with the most commonly used room. The living room will normally be the biggest room in any household. As a result, the most important tripping hazard control measures or control measures for slips and trips will be focused on the said room. However, I’ll try to also be as thorough with the other rooms in the house.

Remove Any Obstructive Items at Home

There will always be a lot of obstructive items at home. These items can range from vases to chairs and stools. Ensuring a functional and still stylish space is vital to avoid unwanted accidents. Hence, research shows that ornamental pieces should be reduced when caring for our elderly loved ones to avoid clutter. The simple act of removing extra furniture can easily increase fall risk prevention at home.

Ensure that All Wires are Properly Organized

Sometimes laziness can get even the best of us, and fixing loose wires might become a chore. Always remember that one of the best control measures for slips and trips would be to avoid anything to trip over in the first place. If possible, hiding wires is one way to go if you really want to avoid any trips or falls. This small act is one of the most often neglected but very important tripping hazard control measures.

Ensure open communication with your health care provider

Another one of the most critical steps in reducing falls in the elderly would be open and honest communication between the older adult and their health care provider. A trained professional will be able to properly guide our elderly loved ones to prevent any accident. Furthermore, it may be caused by other underlying sicknesses, which can be pinpointed easily with the help of your doctor. The key thing to remember would be to get a reputable or at least very qualified health care provider.

Proper Lighting is the Key

One leading cause of accidents at home is the lack of proper lighting. People with poor eyesight will have more difficulty navigating through dark rooms or hallways. Seniors, with their deteriorating eyesight, will definitely have difficulty moving about in the dark.

One of the most effective tripping hazard control measures would be to get proper lighting. It can be accomplished by installing lights in rooms and hallways. You can even take it a step further by adding motion-sensor-based lighting. If buying motion-sensor lights is not within your budget, ensure that light switches are easily accessible.

Avoid wearing long and loose clothing

This measure can easily be the most often neglected control measure for slips and trips. Although comfort should be one of your main priorities when staying at home, long and loose clothing can make you trip and fall. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should avoid loose clothing altogether. Just ensure that the clothes worn won’t be too loose that will ride down and cause a fall.

Preventive Measures for Slips and Falls in The Bathroomwoman guiding an elderly

One of the places where accidents happen a lot in one’s home is in the bathroom. The slippery tiles or water on them can easily cause accidents. Thus, tripping hazard control measures for bathrooms are important as well. Here are some of the tips regarding excellent slips trips and falls control measures:

Install Handlebars in your Bathroom

Handlebars, also known as assist bars and grab bars, are bars installed in the bathroom. You can usually find them in the shower or bathtub to assist a person from standing up. Although primarily used by people with disability or elderly people, anyone will benefit from installing a handlebar in their bathroom. Installing handlebars won’t take long and people often consider it as one of the easiest ways to prevent falls in elderly.

Use a Non-Slip Bath Mat

People often use non-slip mats as their main method of fall risk prevention at home. The shower is an area that is prone to accidents, not just for our elderly loved ones. Installing an excellent non-slip bath mat in the shower will help avoid such accidents. When choosing a non-slip bath mat, choose one with a strong suction made of rubber to make it easier to clean.

Provide a Shower Chair for Your Elderly Loved One

When people age, standing for even a short time might become tiring. Installing a shower chair is one of the ways to prevent falls in elderly loved ones. A shower chair reduces the time our elderly loved one has standing up and will reduce any unnecessary movement. It is the reason why a lot of people consider them as one of the best tripping hazard control measures.

Ensure the Essentials are Within Reach

When setting up the bathroom for your elderly loved one, make sure that everything your elderly loved one needs is easily within their reach. That means that shampoos, soaps, and other shower essentials should be near without having to reach up or down. One tip I have would be to buy a wall-mounted soap and shampoo holder so that all the essentials will be within reach. Doing so will greatly contribute to reducing falls in the elderly.

Try investing in Raised Toilet Seats

Sitting down can be difficult, especially for our elderly loved ones with mobility problems. Thus, investing in raised toilet seats is excellent in reducing falls in the elderly. A raised toilet seat will ensure that our elderly loved ones won’t have to sit lower than they should. This measure can also substantially contribute to reducing falls in the elderly.

Slips Trips and Falls Control Measures for Your Bedroom

Lastly, I’ll be adding tripping hazard control measures or control measures for slips and trips for the bedroom. The bedroom will often be the place where elderly loved ones will wake up and do their first movements for the day. The following ways to prevent falls in elderly are based on research and personal experience.

Ensure That Your Bed is the Perfect Height

When choosing a bed, it is essential to consider the height. You don’t want a bed that is too high, making standing up difficult. After all, you’ll have your feet dangling every time you try to stand up. On the other hand, buying a bed too low will make it difficult to stand up since you will have to exert more movement to stand up. The perfect bed should be one that will not strain you at all.

Buy a Bedside Lamp

A bedside lamp is a bedroom essential for everyone – not just our elderly loved ones. It provides illumination in our rooms without having the main light be too bright. Late-night bathroom runs will not be a problem when you have a light that will help you see. People actually consider this as one of the best control measures for slips and trips.

Invest in a Remote-Controlled Light

If the light provided by your bedside lamp is not enough to help you see at night whenever you try to stand up, investing in a remote-controlled light might be for you. A remote-controlled light will ensure that you won’t have to stand up to turn on your lights. It will also not light up whenever there is movement, unlike a motion-sensor light. People find this feature best when pets often walk around the house.

Install Bed Rails for Easier Mobility

When talking about tripping hazard control measures, bed rails will definitely be on the list. Before installing a bed rail, you need to consult a trained professional who will help choose the right height and width of the bed rail. Not all people should use a bed rail, and even those who should be using one should invest in one. However, for elderly loved ones, bed rails can be a lifesaver. It can greatly contribute to reducing falls in the elderly.

Wear The Appropriate Shoes

When talking about tripping hazard control measures, clothing or apparel will always be considered. Wearing the appropriate shoes would be an effective control measure for slips and trips from happening. Though these wouldn’t technically be shoes. They are usually made of cloth and some soft resin or plastic for the soles. People often find them more comfortable than the normal fluffy indoor slippers.

Patient Teaching on Fall Prevention, an Essential Step

After reading the various tripping hazard control measures and other preventive measures for slips and falls, the next step is to incorporate these measures into your own home. Always remember that doing these things is just a step in the process of creating a safer living environment for your elderly loved one. The most crucial step would be ensuring that your elderly loved one knows the risks and is willing to adhere to the measures made. This step will greatly help in reducing falls in the elderly.


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