Home Modification: Fall Prevention of Elderly

Fall injuries have been one of the key areas of concern today, this is especially true in case of elderly given their age and in many cases an already fragile health condition. According to a research conducted in year 2000 there were 1.8 mn fall cases of elderly. This is a significant number given the fact that there were just 35 mn elderly people (65+ years). Even more worrying is that most of these falls have lead to elderly getting admitted to hospital emergency rooms and in many cases deaths. These falls are cause of great worry not only because of loss of lives but also because it costs a huge amount in medical expenses (close to USD 16 bn in year 2000).

To tackle this serious problem, various steps have been taken by various agnecies, one of the most important are the efforts to decrease the fall incident numbers themselves – the root cause of problem.

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Home Modification to Help in Fall Prevention

Researchers have investigated several interventions to diminish these incidences. These interventions could be education, exercise, some therapies and change in medication. Some other alterations also include some basic structural changes to the home like simple environmental alterations (diminishing clutter, removing electrical cables across floors, etc.) to more long term alteration of the home itself (like grab bars, handrails, ramps, etc.).

It has been indicated that due to these modifications, incidents of falls have reduced. The most acceptable and common alterations in stairs – extra grab bars or handrails, making spacious doors/hallways, carefully select accessibility characteristics in the bathroom, and ramps and also ensure proper lightning

It has been indicated in the research that nearly 40 percent of persons in the age group of 65 plus live in a home which have the possibility for them to live on the first floor, and nearly one-third had hand grabs on both sides of the stairs. The research conducted in this regards spans from a common remedy of home modification in encouraging independence, to the analysis of those data on how home alteration and other interventions can cut down falls.  Given the information through the research of Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest-Old (AHEAD), it was discovered that the facilitating modified bathroom the bathing functionalities of people in the age group of 70+ has increased exponentially. 

We have discussed the basic home modification techniques to prevent falls, ensure safety of enderly and bring proper comfort to them in the following articles:

  1. Home Modification : Stairs and Ramps for Elderly
  2. Home Modification: Bathrooms for Elderly
  3. Home Modification : Lighting for Elderly
  4. Home Modification : Kitchen Modifications Tips for Elderly