Seniors can make homes safer
By BY ELENA WATTS - EWATTS@VICAD.COM
June 24, 2014 at 1:24 a.m.
Updated June 25, 2014 at 1:25 a.m.
• To request a free home safety package, contact the local Home Instead Senior Care office at 361-433-0330.
• For other resources, including an online safety assessment and recommendations for inexpensive modifications, visit makinghomesaferforseniors.com.
SENIOR SAFETY FACTS
• 33 percent of seniors' trips to the hospital and emergency room are caused by falls and other accidents at the home.
• 48 percent of home accidents experienced by seniors could be prevented.
• 85 percent of seniors have done nothing to prepare their homes for aging.
• 65 percent of seniors' homes have at least one potential safety issue.
• Emergency Room doctors name most common risk factors for injuries or accidents as poor eyesight, balance issues, mobility problems, impaired motor skills and dementia.
• The most common safety issues include tripping hazards, bathrooms without assistive equipment and storage that is too high or too low.
SOURCE: HOME INSTEAD SENIOR CARE
In recognition of National Safety Month, Home Instead Senior Care is offering a home safety checklist for area seniors and their families, according to a news release.
"The home should be the safest and most comfortable place for aging seniors," said Stephanie Niles of Home Instead Senior Care. "It is critical for families and seniors to invest the time in identifying the necessary home safety modifications to ensure it stays that way."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 20 million seniors ages 65 and older visit the emergency room each year. Almost a third of those visits are related to injuries, many of which are sustained in homes.
Almost half, 48 percent, of home accidents experienced by seniors are avoidable, according to a recent survey of emergency room doctors conducted by the Home Instead Senior Care network.
Senior home safety experts recommend that adult children of seniors take at least one day each year to perform a thorough safety check of their parents' homes.
"When we go into homes, we see a lot of red flags that are easily overlooked by those who are familiar with the home," Niles said. "Most of the time, these are relatively easy and affordable fixes."
The local Home Instead Senior Care office serves Victoria, Jackson, Wharton, Matagorda, Lavaca and Calhoun counties.