The bedroom is one place where you don’t want to move too quickly, as it can prove hazardous to your health. Many falls occur at night when you get out of bed half-asleep to make a nocturnal trip to the bathroom. Here’s a little senior safety wisdom to get you through the night without any bumps or bruises.
Don’t Rush into Things
When you feel that sense of urgency, it’s tempting to leap straight up out of bed and get to the bathroom, but as we get older, our bodies adjust to changes in position a bit more slowly, according to the National Institutes of Health, particularly if you’re on hypertension medications that can cause fluctuations in blood pressure. Orthostatic, or postural, hypotension — when blood pressure drops too low during a sudden change from sitting to standing — can make you lose your balance and fall. Take a few moments to let your legs dangle on the edge of the bed in a sitting position before standing up.
Leave the Lights on
Try keeping a light by your bed to turn on before getting up, or if you’re afraid of waking your other half, at the very least use a night-light. Maneuvering in a pitch-black room is just asking for trouble, even when you are wide awake.
Is the Coast Clear?
Keeping clear walkways in your home is a good idea for all times of day, but it’s especially important after bedtime. Always make sure that, before you go to sleep, you have an uncluttered pathway to the bathroom. For even better footing after hours, keep nonskid slippers nearby as well.
Just Can’t Wait
Unfortunately, there are those who simply can’t get to the bathroom in time, but there are ways of avoiding embarrassing accidents. Men can use a urinal to keep at the bedside and empty in the morning so that they only have to stand up and move a short distance. Also, consider a bedside commode that you can place right next to the bed during the night and put away in a closet during the day.
Falls may still happen, but you can rest easy with the help of medical alert systems. With HomeSafe equipped with AutoAlert, you can send for help at any time and place within your home — our exclusive fall detection can send a signal for help if it detects a fall, even if you’re unable to push the help button.1 If you’re on the road or are staying with relatives, the GoSafe medical alert system offers two-way communication, location tracking, and AutoAlert fall detection for some of the most advanced fall safety capability on the market.3
You want all parts of your house to be fall-proof, and you spend more time in the bedroom than anywhere else, so follow these senior safety guidelines to do your best to avoid mishaps during the night.