As we age, changes naturally occur which can make it more difficult for us to move around. These mobility problems can make it difficult to balance when walking, make it harder to get in and out of chairs, or more likely that we’ll fall when we’re moving from one place to another.
One of the biggest dangers for people who are not very mobile, is the risk of falling. This can result in bruises, broken bones, internal bleeding, and of course, a fear of falling. Older bones are more brittle and will break easier than younger bones, and they also take longer to heal and sometimes won’t heal completely.
If an older person fractures a hip, they may then need a wheelchair, walker, or cane permanently. Falls are also a major cause of death amongst people with mobility problems, so it’s crucial that these are avoided.
If you have a fall, even if the fall isn’t serious it can make you fearful of the chance of falling again. This can mean you aren’t as active, which then leads to even more health problems. It’s important to recognise that there are many changes you can make at home which will reduce your risk of falling, give you back your independence, and make it more likely that you’ll retain your mobility within and outside of your home.
Here are some changes you can make to make it easier for you to be independent and get from room to room within your home:
Get a stair lift
One of the biggest problems for older people or people who have limited mobility, is getting up and down stairs. For some people, stairs greatly increase their risk of falling. For others, it’s simply impossible to climb due to previous injuries.
If you get a stair lift installed, you’ll be able to easily move between floors. You won’t need anyone home to help you if you want to get up or downstairs, and will be able to use all rooms of your home, even if you have mobility problems.
Fall-proof your bathroom
Most accidents happen in the bathroom, and this is a place that’s naturally slippery, with hard, unforgiving floors and surfaces. One of the best ideas is to get a walk-in bath or shower installed. This will make it easy for you to get clean without risking a fall, and allow you to keep your dignity and independence as you can bathe yourself without help.
It’s also a good idea to get some handrails installed near the toilet, bath, and shower, so you can easily grab them if you need them.
Clean up clutter
As we get older, we naturally collect more things. You may find that your children have left behind their old books, furniture and clothes. You may also have many items yourself that aren’t being used. By selling some of these things, you’ll be able to raise some money to make the necessary changes within your home, while removing furniture and other things that aren’t used to make it easier for you to get around without risking tripping.