OMAHA, Neb., May 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly 20 million seniors aged 65 and older visit the emergency room each year with almost a third of the visits related to injuries*, many of which are sustained in the place seniors are meant to feel the safest: their home. In fact, 65 percent of senior households have at least one potential safety issue, according to adult children of seniors surveyed by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care® network, and almost half of all home accidents by seniors (48 percent) can be avoided according to a recent survey of emergency room doctors.**
These preventable home hazards, such as throw rugs or loose railings, can be particularly dangerous, leading to falls and injuries that can impact a senior's ability to live independently. However, the overwhelming majority of seniors (85 percent) haven't taken any steps to prepare their homes for their changing needs as they grow older.
"The home should be the safest and most comfortable place for aging seniors," says Molly Carpenter, caregiver advocate at Home Instead Senior Care. "It is critical for families and seniors to invest the time in identifying and making the necessary home safety modifications to help ensure it stays that way."
Senior home safety experts recommend that adult children of seniors take at least one day each year to perform a thorough safety check of their parents' home. To help families accomplish this goal and help seniors reduce the risk of injury in their own homes, Home Instead Senior Care is offering the Making Home Safer for SeniorsSM program including a free home safety checklist, an online safety assessment and recommendations for inexpensive modifications that could help ensure the safety of older loved ones. In addition, many of the more than 600 Home Instead franchise offices in North America are providing free home safety checks throughout June.
"An annual safety check can help seniors avoid dangers that could threaten their independence," said Carpenter. "Using these free checklists and online tools can help families see those red flags they wouldn't otherwise notice. And typically, these are relatively easy and affordable fixes—and they could be the difference between a trip to the emergency room and staying safe at home."
To request a free home safety checklist and other materials visit www.makinghomesaferforseniors.com.
In the United States, Home Instead, Inc. completed 600 telephone interviews with seniors age 65 and older, and 600 telephone interviews with adult children who have parents age 65 or older. The sampling error for each population is +/-4.0% at a 95% confidence level. Home Instead, Inc. also conducted five-minute telephone interviews with 100 emergency room physicians randomly selected from throughout the United States.
ABOUT HOME INSTEAD SENIOR CARE
Founded in 1994 in Omaha, Nebraska, by Lori and Paul Hogan, the Home Instead Senior Care® network is the world's leading provider of non-medical in-home care services for seniors, with more than 1,000 independently owned and operated franchises providing more than 50 million hours annually of care throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Switzerland, Germany, South Korea, Finland, Austria, Italy, the Netherlands, Mexico and China. Local Home Instead Senior Care offices employ more than 65,000 CAREGiversSM worldwide who provide basic support services – assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), personal care, medication reminders, meal preparation, light housekeeping, errands, incidental transportation and shopping – which enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. In addition, CAREGivers are trained in the network's groundbreaking Alzheimer's Disease or Other Dementias CARE: Changing Aging Through Research and Education® Program to work with seniors who live with these conditions. This world class curriculum is also available free to family caregivers online or through local Home Instead Senior Care offices. At Home Instead Senior Care, it's relationship before task, while continuing to provide superior quality service that enhances the lives of aging adults and their families.
SOURCE Home Instead Senior Care