Family 411: The dangers of falling at home
Anything from clutter to accent rugs and extension cords can put a senior in danger of falling at home.
Tara Morgan walks us through what you can do now to 'fall proof' your house in this week's Family 411 report.
Charles Weisant's workshop isn't far from reach.
Just a few steps down to his basement.
"This is spring and this is summer and I feel I didn't put enough flowers in there."
Charles has had some health setbacks in recent years, but isn't ready to move in to assisted living.
"Ive had a hip done, a nose done and I've had trouble with vertigo."
He moves around pretty well at 88 years old, but Charles made sure to 'fall proof' his house.
"I do like independence. I'm trying not to be a burden to my family."
Occupational Therapist Kris Parrish walks seniors through 'fall' risks at home, and comes up with solutions to stay safe and independent.
"Hi Charles, how are you doing? Good to see ya."
Parrish says people may be used to their routine and don't realize the dangers that may be lurking.
"There's a little bit of denial there...I don't think I need a cane, a walker. I don't think I need grab bars in the bathroom."
His home assessments start at the front door.
"Stairways without handrails may throw an individual's balance off."
There should be a clear path and good lighting to each room.
"Looking to make sure that there's no throw rugs or clutter in the home."
Parrish gives Charles high marks for that, as well as for safety up-grades he and his family made to his bathroom.
"Every once in a while I just like to lay in the hot bathtub."
"There's a vertical grab bar installed to allow him to stabilize himself as he steps into the shower."
Parrish says falls at home are more serious than one might think with injuries that range from neurological to broken bones.
"Every three minures an individual falls over the age of 65 and nationally every 29 minutes an individual actually dies from a fall over the age of 65."
Charles has only taken a spill once at home.
"I fell the day my wife passed away."
Three years later, his safety shines through, whether upstairs or down in his basement workshop.
"The bottom line. I'm happy here."
Pets can also pose a danger.
Seniors can trip over toys, food bowls and even the pet itself.
Parrish says it's always best to talk it over to find a solution where seniors can keep the pet while also stay independent and safe.