LONDONDERRY, Vt. – Between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022, Londonderry Volunteer Rescue Squad (LVRS) responded to over 100 calls in which a member of our senior population had fallen; some sustaining serious injuries. The vast majority of the incidents could have been prevented with a few simple precautions and projects that can make a home safer. Some of these include:
In the Bathroom – Have a seat or bench in the shower; install grab bars in the shower and near the toilet; apply a slip resistant mat to the floor of the shower; for people who have trouble standing up from sitting, install a taller toilet.
In the Bedroom – For people who have trouble with stairs, move the bedroom to the ground floor; bed risers (raising the bed) can help people with bad knees or legs get in and out of bed more easily.
In the Living Areas – Declutter to make rooms easier to navigate; opt for chairs with arm rests to make it easier to stand up or sit down; keep electric cords out of all traffic area; have carpet installed over concrete, ceramic, or marble floors to help prevent slips; non-shag carpets are easier for a person using a wheelchair or walker to navigate; avoid scatter rugs – they can be easy to slip on; secure rugs or runners with double sided tape or slip-resistant backing
On Staircase – Have a sturdy railing on staircases; install stair treads for a better grip on staircase steps.
For a more comprehensive guide to making homes safer for our elderly population, please go to the AARP website at www.aarp.org, and click on the AARP Home Fit Guide.