In the last year, we’ve spent some serious time in our homes. While staying home has played a crucial role in preventing the spread of COVID-19, it has increased the chance of millions of household-related injuries. Staying safe at home is now more critical than ever. By taking a few simple steps like keeping your body healthy and creating safety plans, you can prevent injuries for years to come.
Being proactive about the choices you make every day can significantly impact preventing injures at home. Taking care of your body, especially as you age, is a valuable step to maintaining a happy, healthy lifestyle.
With age comes muscle, bone density, and joint movement loss, which can play a part in accidents. While these things are a normal part of aging, you can take actions to prevent or slow these changes. Stretching can help maintain joint flexibility. Walking and weight training are both weight-bearing exercises that may preserve bone mass. For non-weight-bearing movements, try water-related activities to increase muscle mass and bone density.
Stay up to date with your doctor. They know how best to help you with any medical concerns and make recommendations to keep you healthy. Regular visits can also determine whether you’re getting the adequate sleep and nutrition you need to stay strong. Get your hearing and eyesight check annually to prevent accidents caused by a lack of awareness. Refill your prescriptions on time. Take your medication as per doctors’ orders so there are no behavioral or health changes that could lead to an injury.
Construct a risk assessment checklist and have a friend or family member go over it with you to account for everything, even some things you may have missed. Have them check hard-to-reach places like smoke and CO2 detectors to verify they are functional. Take a look at slip and fall risks. You can add mats underneath floor runners to prevent sliding and install grab bars in bathrooms. Useful add-ons like stairlifts can decrease the risk of fall injures. Useful add-ons like pullout drawers and stairlifts can decrease the risk of back and fall injures. Avoid everyday trip hazards on stairs inside and outside of your home with your very own stairlift. Installation is typically quick and easy. Stairlifts can be highly beneficial while traveling from floor to floor and have specific safety mechanisms, like seatbelts, to prevent injury on stairs.
Set Up a Plan
Unfortunately, we cannot eliminate all at-home risks. Even with the most careful people, accidents can happen. Be forward-thinking and plan. Speak with a trusted family member or friend and propose a procedure when emergencies happen. Maintain open communication with them, so they know to check up on you regularly. Create a list of emergency numbers to carry with you or place on your fridge, just in case. If you have a cellphone, have it on or near you at all times, especially when moving between floors in your home. Smartwatches that come with various other features like weather, fitness tracking and messaging can also benefit from fall detection. Assistive devices for falls are a great addition to keeping you safe.