Care recipient (cr) with low vision has trouble using stairs at home and is hesitant about going up and down them

Try: #look for safety-strip safety-strip reflective or reflective tape in the hardware store #cut a piece of tape the width of the stair peel off the back of the tape and place the tape sticky side down across the width of each stair put a piece of tape on the floor at the bottom of the stairs and at the top of the staircase or steps as well #reflective tape especially in a color that stands out against the background of the steps may help the cr with low vision see the upper and lower ends of the stairs and to pick out each step

Materials: Reflective tape scissors

Categories: Falls & Balance, Housekeeping Home Maintenance, Leisure, Safety

Information: n/a

References: n/a

Keywords: n/a

*This information is listed as a Tip and is not explicitly medically licensed

Take a look at and correct factors that may contribute to falls on halls or in stairs or walkways inside a care recipient’s cr’s home

Try: #remove clutter and obstacles from all of the stairs halls and routes of access in the home #leave a clear path wide enough for the cr to navigate easily between rooms and furniture used by the cr make sure the path will allow use of a cane walker or wheelchair if the cr uses one of these and consider whether the path would allow access to rescue workers in the event of an emergency #use a tape measure to measure the width of a wheelchair or walker from its widest outer features on one side to another to determine whether an assistive device will fit through a doorway or hall wheelchair sizes usually reflect the diagonal width of their cushions not their width including arms bolts etc #minor modifications can be made to walkers or doorframes that can make the walker narrower or the doorframe wider allowing the cr to use a walker throughout the house #remove the inside trims of a doorframe and switch a wheeled walker’s wheels from the outside to the inside of the frame to gain an extra bit of space you will have to move the left wheel to the inside right of the frame and the right wheel to the inside left if you do not have the proper tools ask for help at a physical therapy department or hardware store #try to keep at least five square feet of clear floor space for the cr to turn around in at points on an access route or in a room where the cr is likely to need to change direction or position this will allow a cr with poor balance or limited flexibility to walk rather than pivot in a new direction #secure area rugs with non-skid backing remove scatter rugs or provide non-skid backing for them; it is available at do-it-yourself hardware stores #for cr’s with vision difficulties apply a high-contrast color of duct tape to uncarpeted stairs you will have to determine with the safest way to place the tape which may depend on the steps and the cr’s vision needs a strip of tape horizontally placed along the outfacing wall of the step may be helpful with an additional strip at the base of the staircase

Materials: Tape measure high-contrasting-colored duct tape hammer claw non-skid rug backing

Categories: Falls & Balance, Housekeeping Home Maintenance, Housing, Safety, Mobility, Mobile, Needs Some Assistance, Vision, Good Vision, So-So Vision, Poor Vision

Information: n/a

References: n/a

Keywords: n/a

*This information is listed as a Tip and is not explicitly medically licensed

Changes due to dementia or vision loss can affect how stairs are seen

Try: Paint the vertical part of the stair a contrasting color you can also do this with a contrasting carpet color this will help the care recipient see each stair instead of a wall you could also use colored tape but be sure it’s a color that provides high contrast to the stairs and make sure it sticks securely to the floor

Materials: Colored paint carpet colored tape

Categories: Falls & Balance, Housekeeping Home Maintenance, Safety, So-So Vision, Poor Vision, Somewhat Aware

Information: n/a

References: n/a

Keywords: n/a

*This information is listed as a Tip and is not explicitly medically licensed

Poor balance while walking may lead to falls and injury

Try: If a Care recipient (cr) with poor balance doesn’t use a walker or cane correctly or often try these seek more training from the doctor physical therapist or medical supply agent in walking with a walker or cane remind the cr to use the cane or walker even in the house a cr may have trouble using a walker in doorways and halls measure the walker’s width at its widest point and measure the inside of doorways at the narrowest points widen doorways by removing inside trim consider mounting grab bars in the bathroom to aid balance while toileting or bathing measure the width of hallways before mounting handrails in them and consider the width that will be lost if a handrail is added if handrails are added make sure their distance from walls won’t let a cr’s hand or arm lodge between the wall and the rail if the cr slips

Materials: Handrails grab bars walker or cane

Categories: Falls & Balance, Housekeeping Home Maintenance, Safety, Mobile, Needs Some Assistance, Needs Much Assistance, No Supervision, Some Supervision, Maximum Supervision

Information: n/a

References: n/a

Keywords: n/a

*This information is listed as a Tip and is not explicitly medically licensed

Care recipient (cr) is at risk for falling or has fallen in the past

Try: See physician to diagnose potential physical problems and to provide solutions remove throw rugs as these become bunched and cause trips or can be slip hazards install grab bars in bathrooms and hallways consider an emergency home response system ehrs and encourage the cr to wear the device which will signal for help with the touch of a button in case of falls a possibly cheaper alternative to the ehrs is a cell phone which can be used to call 911 in an emergency check with local agencies as special cell phones that only dial 911 may be available for free or reduced cost remind the cr to carry ehrs signal or cell phone with him or her at all times attach to a necklace to help him or her remember it is there

Materials: n/a

Categories: Falls & Balance, Safety

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References: n/a

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*This information is listed as a Tip and is not explicitly medically licensed

Problems with balance vision and weakness can affect ability to climb stairs

Try: If not already in place install one or two sturdy secure handrails on the staircase make sure the addition of the rail does not narrow the stairway so much that there isn’t enough room to freely use the staircase place a 6 – 12 strip of colored tape on the edge of each step to highlight each stair to prevent tripping make sure the tape will hold fast to the step surface don’t do this on carpeted stairs hold on to rails while climbing if only one rail is available try placing both hands on the one rail and facing it step up with the stronger leg or the one with less pain lift the foot to the higher step placing it deep enough on the step to prevent it from slipping off put weight on the higher leg and bring up the other one if it is hard to clear the step with the second leg try hiking that hip and bending the toes while trying to clear the step

Materials: Bright-colored tape handrails and tools to install them

Categories: Falls & Balance, Housekeeping Home Maintenance, Safety, Mobile, Needs Some Assistance, Needs Much Assistance, No Supervision, Some Supervision, Maximum Supervision, Good Vision, So-So Vision, Poor Vision

Information: n/a

References: n/a

Keywords: n/a

*This information is listed as a Tip and is not explicitly medically licensed

Walking and standing with balance problems may be made safer and easier with assisting devices and helpers

Try: Adjust a prescribed walker or cane’s height meet to the care recipient’s cr needs assist by using the gait belt while the cr uses the wheeled walker try a straight cane for a cr with mild balance problems get training from physical therapist on how to use a gate belt safely before using one discuss walker or cane options thoroughly with a doctor specializing in senior health or a physical therapist a doctor can prescribe an assistive device based on a physical therapist’s evaluation

Materials: Wheeled walker or straight cane gait belt caregiver if needed physical therapist doctor gerontology specialist

Categories: Falls & Balance, Safety, Male, Female, Needs Some Assistance, Needs Much Assistance, No Supervision, Some Supervision, Maximum Supervision, Fully Aware, Somewhat Aware

Information: n/a

References: n/a

Keywords: n/a

*This information is listed as a Tip and is not explicitly medically licensed

Care recipient (cr) has difficulty getting up out of normal chairs possibly due to arthritis or other ailments

Try: Place each leg of the chair into a riser secure as instructed by the product this will raise the chair up 3-4 inches without losing stability making it easier for the cr to rise if risers make the chair too tall a small step stool hard foam block or other small step could be places under the chair for cr to use while seated

Materials: Chair risers can be found in most medical supply stores

Categories: Falls & Balance, Safety, Needs Some Assistance, Needs Much Assistance

Information: n/a

References: n/a

Keywords: n/a

*This information is listed as a Tip and is not explicitly medically licensed

Stairs may be a problem area when vision is poor

Try: Upgrade to the maximum wattage bulb allowed for the existing lamps already present in stairwells be sure not to exceed wattage recommendations as this is a fire hazard ideally there should be a light switch at both the top and bottom of the stairs if not add a lamp if possible and install a remote switch between the plug and wall and attach the remote at a convenient place opposite where the switch is try tap-on lights if a lamp will not work make sure they are in a safe place and that they can be safely and easily operated

Materials: Higher wattage light bulbs remote light switch available at home improvement stores lamp tap on lights

Categories: Falls & Balance, Housekeeping Home Maintenance, Safety, So-So Vision, Poor Vision

Information: n/a

References: n/a

Keywords: n/a

*This information is listed as a Tip and is not explicitly medically licensed

Help for Care recipient (cr) with difficulty walking through doorways due to reduced vision

Try: # place strips of tape 18 inches long and three inches apart three feet to both sides of the doorway to make a path for the cr to follow # prompt cr to focus on an object on the other side of the doorway and not at the floor

Materials: Brightly colored masking tape or any tape with a color contrasting the doorway and floor

Categories: Falls & Balance, Needs Some Assistance, Needs Much Assistance, So-So Vision

Information: n/a

References: n/a

Keywords: n/a

*This information is listed as a Tip and is not explicitly medically licensed