Falls are averted by a home safety assessment.This prevents falls but also fires and other dangers . In addition it helps older people and their families identify needed repairs so they can remain at home.If returning from the hospital it helps elders not recycle back through the ER, something hospitals must enforce through Medicare today.
It is very important and necessary to perform a home assessment as part of the geriatric assessment process. The assessment should include the evaluation of safety factors (e.g., functioning smoke alarms, adequate wiring) and how effectively the older person is able to function within the floor plan and room arrangement of his or her home. While the home might be safe for a person without disabilities or cognitive impairments, if there are features (e.g., a second story, sunken rooms or hallways, tiny bathrooms) that are obstacles or potential dangers to a person needing assistive devices or forgetful of steps, that home is not safe for that person. Observation of the client as he or she performs ADLs is invaluable for assessment of the client’s home safety and environmental needs as well as functional abilities.
Using a checklist is a time-efficient and comprehensive method for ascertaining the safety of a home. A Home Safety Checklist is one tool that can be used to identify fall hazards in the home.. Its detailed questions provide some education to the older person in practices that can be initiated to minimize the likelihood of falling. As part of the assessment, caregivers can be educated to be alert for hazards and to evaluate the need for added safety features (e.g., alarms on outside doors, grab bars, raised toilet seats) that the older person may need as his or her condition progresses.