There is nothing worse than having what you consider to be a silly little accident but paying the price for it over the course of a few weeks. A simple trip over an object that has been left lying around can jar and individual’s back, rendering him or her unable to move properly for anything up to a month, even if they are able bodied and in the peak of health. This risk is more pronounced in seniors than in any other age group because the body’s ability to heal itself decreases with age. As a result, healing times are longer and it always possible that a full recovery will never be made. Of course, that is the effect of an accident at its most extreme level. However unlikely it may be that it happens that way, it is always a possibility and thus you really need to establish your safety as you move into your senior years.
Trips, slips and falls are the most common accidents that occur in the home, and are also the most common cause of injuries that happen to seniors in general. Some may be innocuous and only cause bruising, but others can cause jarring of joints, the stiffening of muscles and even the dislocation of joints and breaking of bones. The latter have the potential to stop a senior in his or her tracks and cause disability, either on a temporary or permanent basis. Being aware of hazards is the only way to prevent this because they cut the potential for trips, slips and falls off at the source.
You can build up an awareness of hazards but you do not naturally notice them. They are all around you at any given time, but you may not notice them until it is too late unless, again, you have trained yourself to spot them. Having said that, if you are paranoid about having accidents in the home then it will only serve to make you mentally ill. You will almost certainly be afraid to do anything. It is all about getting the right balance of the two – being healthily vigilant without allowing paranoia to affect your entire being.
The most common hazards that cause trips, slips and falls are loose coverings, such as carpets and rugs, and objects that are just left lying around or are inconveniently placed. It is simple enough to put measures into place to prevent these hazards from occurring in the first place. For example, carpets should be checked every three to six months to make sure that all fittings are still firmly in place. If they are not, then general maintenance should occur. Replace or tighten any loose fittings and then check them again after a couple of weeks to make sure that they are still firmly in place. Any rugs should be removed at the earliest opportunity, or placed somewhere in the room that is very rarely used so they are just there for decorative effect.
When you are checking you home for hazards for the first time, it may be necessary to have a furniture move. Rearrange your entire living room, bedroom and any other commonly used rooms in the house to make sure that everything is well placed. Nothing should be even partially blocking entrances and smaller items of furniture should be placed in a location that isolates them from any physical activity. If you consider the layout of your house, then all of these suggestions make sense. A few minutes out of your day could, save you weeks of pain after all!