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How can I reduce the risk of falls for elderly guests?

As you celebrate this holiday season with friends and loved ones in New Jersey, you may have some concerns about keeping elderly guests safe within your home. The risk of slip and fall accidents is one major concern, as senior citizens face an increased likelihood of sustaining an injury after a fall. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce this risk and ensure all guests remain safe and sound.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer a few ways you can make your home safer for aging loved ones. In general, you can lessen the chance of a fall simply by clearing your home of clutter, which can cause guests with poor eyesight to lose their footing. Increasing brightness within rooms via additional lamps or higher wattage bulbs is also beneficial in this respect. When housing older guests for an extended stay, bathrooms should be outfitted with certain accommodations (such as stabilization bars adjacent to the toilet).

Along with these home additions, you should also be aware that certain health conditions can contribute to a slip and fall. Mobility issues are a significant concern, as trouble walking will inhibit your guest’s ability to move around your home in a safe manner. Some medications also play a role, especially when other risk factors are present. For instance, drugs with a tranquillizing effect can impact balance and steadiness.

For seniors, one in five falls can result in a severe injury. Head injuries are particularly dangerous, as they may involve serious complications and can even be life-threatening in some cases. Seniors can also suffer from broken bones after a fall, such as hip fractures. Hip fractures are linked to approximately 300,000 hospital stays on a yearly basis, and have been known to greatly inhibit one’s quality of life.

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