In a previous blog, I talked about the importance of utilizing Coastal Caretakers to help your senior loved ones prevent falls. So often, not only are falls the number one cause of injury among elders inside the home, the same can be the case for the outside, too!
No one wants to remain stationary in the home 24 hours a day. Indeed, it’s nice to feel exposure to the sun and breathe a satisfying breath of fresh air. However, for senior citizens successful mobility is often determined by their ability to maneuver unfamiliar terrain, which can even include the perimeter around their homes. While it may not necessarily be “unfamiliar”, it is probably not an area typically used by elders. As a result, an innocent, simple desire to become one with nature may yield an unexpected fall that could have been prevented had Coastal Caretakers been given the opportunity to survey the surrounding location.
A study conducted by Thomas M. Gill, Christianna S. Williams and Mary E. Tinetti (2000) provided the public with an insight that was yet to be revealed: the predominant amount of falls occurs outside the home. Among the surveyed areas included the kitchen (8.1%), living room (13.2%), hallway (4.9%), bedroom (13.3%), bathroom (5.8%), other (inside home – 5.5%), unknown (1.0%), and a whopping 21.9% of seniors reported falling outside of their homes. In their research, they noted that:
“Home safety assessments to identify and eliminate environmental hazards have high face validity as a fall prevention strategy. Environmental hazards are highly prevalent in the homes of community-living older persons, regardless of level of disability or housing type. Moreover, when interviewed after a fall, older persons often identify an environmental hazard as a contributing factor.”
Because a living environment can be so precarious for elderly individuals, it is vital for loved ones to stay abreast on the quality of both the interior and exterior portions of their residences. Coastal Caretakers has designed a unique program to properly assess the living areas of seniors with careful regard, understanding that falls are again the number one cited injury among the elderly. Remember that it is insufficient to simply say that the home is safe; it must be monitored and cared for on a regular basis. Don’t let your loved ones experience the ramifications of home neglect simply because they opt to take in a bit of fresh air. With that in mind, call Coastal Caretakers today for a proper home inspection – of both the inside and outside areas.
Gill, T. M., Williams, C. S., & Tinetti, M. E.. (2000). Environmental Hazards and the Risk of Nonsyncopal Falls in the Homes of Community-Living Older Persons. Medical Care, 38(12), 1174–1183. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org.proxy-remote.galib.uga.edu/stable/3767995