SENIORS: Check safety at home of the seniors in your life

It’s crucial that adult children dedicate one day a year to perform a safety check of their senior loved one’s home, according to a survey of Canadian emergency room doctors conducted for Home Instead Senior Care network.

But in the last year, less than half (41%) of family caregivers surveyed had done so. The research suggests a lack of knowledge and attention to potential home safety issues that could lead to danger and the risk of accidents and falls in an older adult’s home.

Each year, more than 1.6 million older adults go to emergency departments for fall-related injuries, according to the National Institutes of Health. As well, the Public Health Agency of Canada reports that falls account for more than half of all injuries among Canadians age 65 and older.

The effects of aging can leave older adults vulnerable to falls doing a variety of everyday tasks. Home also can be a safety trap, with the most common issues identified in the research as:

• throw rugs that pose tripping hazards;

• lack of grab bars (e.g. in the shower or bath);

• and kitchen storage that is too high or low.

To download a free home safety checklist, visit


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