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Preventing Falls in the Elderly Living in New York City

How to Prevent a Fall – Alvita Home Care in New York City

Elderly lady with cane walks alone through central park nycAs a continuation of our “Aging In Place” article, we wanted to give you a few tips on staying safe in your home and what to look for when necessary to add some precautions as you or your loved ones grow older. Alvita Home Care in New York City and Long Island NY and our caregivers want to keep you as safe and comfortable as possible within your own home and neighborhood.

Falling is the number one reason for injury among seniors.

It is very important to be aware of and smart about the risks, but with the proper precautions, they can be significantly lowered. For those who’ve made the decision to “age in place”, we encourage you and your family to go through your home and assess potential hazards or fall risks.

The Mayor’s Office and the NYC Department of Aging has been working on plans to encourage landlords and businesses that specifically cater to New York City seniors to install and retrofit aspects of their buildings in order to make life as easy as possible for our elderly residents. However, NYC apartment buildings can be slow to meet older residents’ needs in updating entry, and this can be dangerous.

If you or your loved ones live in a New York City apartment building or other shared living space, working with your building’s owner to update light fixtures, slippery entryways, and to set up an emergency plan if necessary can create an avenue of communication that can be integral to a comfortable living environment.

The NYC Department of Aging has a comprehensive guide[1] to safe-proofing your home to reduce risk of falls and to work in collaboration with your building if necessary. A few basic things to be aware of if you may be prone to falling or injury include:

  1. Slippery floors: Laying down non-slip floor coverings or tight-looped carpet can create not only a gentler underfoot impact but can increase friction to prevent slipping.
  2. Handrails and grab bars: Should be installed in places where one might bend down or need assistance while standing, such as a hallway or in the bathroom.
  3. Lighting: Dim or burned-out lights can hide steep inclines or items that one could trip over, especially when combined with failing or impaired vision whereas well-lit areas reduce the likeliness of falling and increase general safety.
  4. Doors and entrances: Ease of opening should be a main consideration for those with arthritis or mobility issues, and a wide-enough opening for a wheelchair to enter if necessary.
  5. Wayfinding: For those who have memory loss or are easily confused, speaking to a medical professional or caregiver may give you some ideas on how to reduce confusion within the home by using visual cues such as colors or props to encourage familiar associations.
  6. Technology and communication: Use of intercoms or emergency buttons may depend on your building’s owner; however, within your own home, it is worth assessing options to ease communication between the user and help if an injury occurs. Sometimes this could merely include a neighbor’s phone number to contact in case of emergency.

At Alvita Care, we provide exceptional in-home service, helping with not only personal care, or Activities of Daily Living, but also Instrumental Activities of Daily Living. We facilitate the keeping of a clean, safe and healthy environment where you and your loved ones can feel secure. Call us today at (212) 273-0490 for more information about our services, or for any questions about securing your home for injury-prevention!

[1] http://www.nyc.gov/html/dfta/downloads/pdf/publications/AIPGuide2016.pdf

About AlvitaCare

Alvita Care is a fully licensed home healthcare company providing premier in home caregiver services to seniors living in New York City and on Long Island NY. With offices in Midtown Manhattan and Hauppauge NY, Alvita Care was founded in 2008 upon the idea of "Care Without Compromise". Our care-giving services enhance seniors' lives, by improving their well-being, dignity and independence. We have earned The Joint Commissions Gold Seal of Approval and pride ourselves with our proprietary caregiver matching process that carefully matches our experience caregivers to each client based on personality and technical skills needed. Alvita Care can help whether you need assistance for several hours a few times a week or you require live-in or around-the-clock assistance. Our caregivers provide assurance and relief to families by relieving their anxiety, knowing that their loved one is safe, happy and lovingly cared for.