Nearly 20 million seniors ages 65 and older visit the emergency room each year with almost a third of the visits related to injuries, many of which are sustained in the place seniors are meant to feel the safest: their home. In fact, 65 percent of senior homes have at least one potential safety issue, according to adult children of seniors surveyed by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care network. However, almost half of all home accidents by seniors (48 percent) can be avoided according to a recent survey of emergency room doctors.
These preventable home hazards, such as throw rugs or loose railings, can be particularly harmful, leading to falls and injuries that can impact seniors’ ability to live independently. However, the majority of seniors (85 percent) haven’t taken any steps to prepare their homes for their changing needs as they grow older.
With hospital readmissions a constant concern for healthcare professionals, it’s important to help families prepare for their senior loved ones to return home after an extended hospital or skilled rehabilitation stay.
Senior home safety experts recommend that adult children of seniors take at least one day each year to perform a thorough safety check of their parents’ home. To help families accomplish this goal and help seniors reduce the risk of injury in their own homes, the Home Instead Senior Care offices serving the Pittsburgh area are offering a free home safety checklist, an online safety assessment and recommendations for inexpensive modifications that could ensure the safety of older loved ones as part of the “Making Home Safer for Seniors” program.
To request a free home safety checklist and other materials for your patients and their families, visit www.makinghomesaferforseniors.com.
An annual safety check can help seniors avoid dangers that could threaten seniors’ independence. Using these free checklists and online tools can help families see those red flags they wouldn’t otherwise notice. And typically, these are relatively easy and affordable fixes—and they could be the difference between a trip back to the emergency room and staying safe at home.
CAREGivers from Home Instead Senior Care can help patients and their families transition back to home and reduce readmissions by providing companionship, light housekeeping, transportation, personal care and more. For more information about Home Instead Senior Care visit www.homeinstead.com/greaterpittsburgh or call 1-866-996-1087.