We all want to stay independent for as long as possible, but sometimes older adults can’t live on their own. When this occurs, we recommend assisted living communities in Mint Hill, NC, for elderly residents who need extra help with daily tasks like cooking and cleaning. These communities offer many benefits to residents, such as companionship and daily socialization opportunities, but also increase their risk of falls and other injuries that can lead to serious health complications. While there are many things you can do at home to prevent falls (like installing grab bars in bathrooms), here are some tips for fall prevention at your loved one’s assisted living apartment:
Install Non-Slip Flooring
Non-slip flooring is an excellent fall prevention strategy for assisted living communities. It is important to choose a material that will be easy to clean, durable and slip resistant. Such materials include:
- Carpeting with a non-skid backing
- Vinyl flooring with a non-skid backing
Non-slip flooring can also be installed in the bathroom or laundry room, where it’s important to keep both the floors and walls dry to avoid slips and falls on wet surfaces. You can also use non-skid tape or paint on the cabinets and countertops if you have concerns about patients’ mobility in these rooms.
Install Grab Bars
Grab bars are the simplest and most effective way to prevent falls. They should be installed in all bathrooms and hallways, including those outside bedrooms. Place grab bars at a comfortable height, but remember that you will have an easier time using them if they’re within reach (about 15 inches from the floor).
If you don’t have enough room for a grab bar on one wall, try placing one on both sides of your shower or tub. You may also want to consider installing a permanent handrail along staircases so that you have something to hold onto. Consider using wooden or metal rails instead of plastic ones; metal won’t get slippery when wet, and wood tends not to chip easily over time.
Light is essential for maintaining a high level of comfort and safety, but getting the right amount in assisted living rooms cannot be easy. Overly bright lights can cause glare, which is distracting and may even cause headaches. On the other hand, dim or dark rooms can be challenging to navigate during nighttime trips to the bathroom or kitchen. To help residents avoid falls, ensure adequate light switches near every exit so that you can control how much light there is at any given time.
Remove Area Rugs
Area rugs are a common fall prevention strategy in assisted living, and for a good reason. They can cause people to trip, make it difficult to see the floor, and even be slippery. If you have a rug that extends into walkways or common areas where you want to build safer environments, consider replacing it with easier flooring on the eyes, such as wood or tile.
If you’re worried about replacing an area rug because of its aesthetic appeal—or if there are other factors involved like allergies—consider using a non-slip rug pad underneath that will help keep the rug in place while still providing some cushioning.
Remember, it’s not just about preventing falls. It’s also about helping people stay active and engaged in their lives for as long as possible. We can keep residents safe and happy with the right fall prevention strategies!