| Health and Lifestyle
The home is a place where people often feel safest - it’s a comfortable environment that has been decorated and laid out as you want it and a place where you can control who comes in and out. However, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), more accidents happen at home than anywhere else .
You might think that most accidents occur in the kitchen or bathroom. The kitchen contains lots of sharp objects, gadgets and hot appliances and the bathroom is a place where you can slip on a wet surface and injure yourself. However, RoSPA states that most accidents happen in the living room. Such incidents could include falling over furniture or a bunched-up rug, burns caused by the fire or children pouring hot drinks on themselves. These problems could potentially be avoided by using a suitable fire shield, placing drinks away from children and organising your furniture so you have sufficient space to move.
Falls are the most common type of accident that can occur in the home. To prevent these accidents from happening in the kitchen, bathroom and on the stairs in the future, you can find some solutions below. If you’re worried about falling when no one is around, you could use a personal alarm, allowing you to call for help even when you’re alone.
Falling in the kitchen could result in more severe injuries than just a bruise or cut, particularly if you’re holding a hot pan or a hot drink. However, there are some things that you can try to prevent slips and falls in the kitchen.
Just like in any room of your home, there are some items that you need more regularly than others. These should be moved to a location that’s easily accessible. For example, if your mugs are situated on a top shelf that’s awkward to reach, the chances of falling could increase. You should consider moving your mugs to a lower shelf or cupboard. Alternatively, if for any reason you need to reach something on the top shelf, use a sturdy stepladder or a hand grabber.
Spills, particularly liquids, should be wiped up immediately, as they could cause you to slip. This also goes for any grease or oil that can splash out of a frying pan.
Finally, kitchens usually have tile, lino or wooden flooring and these surfaces can be quite slippery. When you’re cooking, it can be a good idea to wear non-slip slippers or socks that provide extra grip. Rugs can also be good for this purpose, however, you must ensure that they’re taped down with double-sided tape or have a rubber underlay that will make sure the rug doesn’t move.
Because there’s so much water in bathrooms, the risk of slipping can be high. Luckily, there are some things you can do to prevent this.
Getting in and out of the bath can be both difficult and dangerous for older people. Having grab bars or handles installed in the bath or shower can provide something to hold onto if you’re scared of falling. You may also want to install these near the toilet, too. These fixtures come in a variety of lengths and styles, so you’ll be sure to find one that you like. They should be sturdy enough to hold your full weight should you happen to slip.
Water combined with the smooth surface of tile flooring is the main cause of slipping in the bathroom. These incidents could be avoided by keeping as much water away from the floor as possible. If your bath or shower is leaking, you should look to get this fixed as soon as you can. A temporary solution is to lay down a towel to absorb the moisture.
Although wet rooms can be useful for older people that struggle to bathe, they can be a major slipping hazard. If possible, use a shower so the water cannot exit the fixture and leak further into the room. A non-slip mat can be used in the shower to provide extra grip.
You’re much more likely to slip in the shower if you’re standing up. With a shower seat, you can shower sitting down and the seat can fold up when it’s not in use.
Falling down the stairs can be dangerous and scary, but there are some preventative steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of this happening. These include wearing slippers with good grip and making sure there is a handrail on each side of the stairs (for example, not just the banister, but an additional handrail that goes up the wall). You could also look into purchasing clear plastic strips that may provide further grip. These are sticky on one side and have a rough texture on the other, so they can stick to most types of flooring.
People are more likely to fall or trip on the stairs if they are trying to move too quickly. The most important thing is to descend slowly and safely. You should pay attention to each step, ensuring that your foot is landing on the step below before lifting the next one.
If you’ve recently had surgery on one of your legs or have an injury, you should walk down the stairs with the weakest leg first. Use your injured leg to make the first step and then place your uninjured leg on the same step. Repeat this until you reach the bottom.
Age UK Personal Alarms are provided by PPP Taking Care Limited and brought to you by Age UK Trading CIC.
PPP Taking Care Limited is a company registered in England and Wales (Number 01488490), it is a subsidiary of AXA PPP healthcare Group Limited. Registered address: 5 Old Broad Street, London EC2N 1AD. VAT number 243674160. PPP Taking Care is the trading name and brand of PPP Taking Care Limited.
PPP Taking Care Limited works in association with Age UK Trading CIC, a commercial arm of Age UK (a charity registered in England and Wales number 1128267). Age UK Trading CIC is a community interest company registered in England and Wales number 01102972. Registered office address:Tavis House, 1-6 Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9NA. Age UK Trading CIC donates its net profits to Age UK.
It’s not always easy to know what to do in an emergency. You might not know the right person to call, or be able to remember the right phone number.
Emergency situations can be extremely stressful. Even the most level-headed people often undergo a transformation when put under this kind of pressure.
A panic button, otherwise referred to as a personal alarm, SOS alarm or safety alarm, is specifically designed for vulnerable or unwell people who live alone.