The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control states that falls are the number one cause of home injury and there are studies that suggest that environmental factors play a significant role in those numbers. The second most common home injury is burns, primarily from fires. Poisoning is the third most common, mainly occurring with medicine non-compliance with older adults more likely than other age groups to suffer adverse medical reactions.
One of the challenges of working with older adults is the identification of a safety hazard for that particular individual. For example, a person with severe arthritis may have more difficulty with a chair that is too deep or too low. In addition, if a person relies on another for an activity of daily living (ADL), then finding a solution to increase autonomy and reduce caregiving would be a preferred solution.
In either situation, it is better to begin analysis for home modification by considering environmental, rather than personal deficits. Too often, older adults blame themselves for their inability to engage in activities and therefore, wont explore solutions. It is our opportunity to present the environmental assessment and modifications as positive outcomes for increased independence, safety and comforts.
Schedule an in-home assessment as soon as possible so you can start putting to ease some of your worries.