Many believe that most elderly falls occur in the home. Actually, statistics show that men are more likely to fall in the garden, garage, or on a walkway around the home, and women are more likely to fall inside the home. Generally speaking the research shows women are 2.7 times more likely to have a fracture as a result of a fall.
The New York Times had an interesting article about falls in the home, in this particular article “The Most Dangerous Room in the House?” by Paula Span, and YES, you probably guessed it already; The Bathroom. The article was not actually conclusive about which part of the house that senior fall injuries most often occur, but conventional wisdom points to the bathroom, stairs, and kitchen.
The CDC does track the number of elderly senior falls in the home, but doesn’t keep track of which rooms are more prevalent to falls. In this article the author suggests several things that can be done around the home to prevent falls. There is some research on the subject suggesting that because the elderly is apt to fall in bathroom due to slippery surfaces and maneuvering in and out of a bathtub for instance, they are more careful, thus less likely to fall. However when a fall does occur, it can be more serious.
I’d like to remind people that getting out of the bathtub or shower can be dangerous as an elderly person is vulnerable being off-balance and having wet feet. This is why registered in-home caregivers are trained in how to mitigate these circumstances. Of course, having someone help you with bathing and private times is tough on one’s psyche. Most all caregivers understand this fact, and do their jobs with dignity and respect, treating clients like family. If not, it’s time to switch caregivers.
Having a caregiver at home sure helps prevent falls although there never any way to 100% guarantee a fall won’t occur at some point, often seniors want to be independent and they’ll try to do something alone they shouldn’t out of self-pride. When there is a strong caregiver-client relationship and a bond of trust an elderly client is much more likely to ask for help and accept the caregiver’s assistance.
Luckily, only about 1:100 home falls result in injury, and that’s because of things like carpet, grass, and the resilience of the human body. Having a caregiver is a very smart way to cut down on the number of potential falls, and the client-caregiver relationship makes all the difference in the world. This relationship is even more paramount when traveling to a doctor’s appointment, going to the store or even out for coffee. We take the safety of our clients very seriously, never taking unnecessary risks.