Elder-proof your home to prevent falls with these tips from Toa Payoh Polyclinic’s ageing-in-place studio.
Just as parents “baby-proof” their homes before the arrival of a little one, households with older adults should also be “elder-proofed” to provide them with a safe and comfortable environment; and prevent falls at home.
To get started, pay a visit to the Ageing-in-Place (AIP) Studio, located at Toa Payoh Polyclinic. Resembling a small apartment, the studio offers ideas for solutions to problems that the elderly face in everyday living. It was set up by Toa Payoh Polyclinic to teach the elderly and their caregivers about making their homes safer.
“We chose to construct it at Toa Payoh Polyclinic because the facility serves a large segment of older residents,” says Dr Kee Kok Wai, a Family Physician with National Healthcare Group Polyclinics (NHGP), who had helped to develop the studio.
As the risk of falling or fall risk is high for the sick elderly, those deemed to be at risk by doctors at Toa Payoh Polyclinic are referred to the studio. There, they learn about the importance of fittings such as grab bars and slip-resistant tiles. These fittings can help to prevent or reduce the risk of falls in the elderly, a common cause of injury among seniors that can have serious health implications.
According to the Health Promotion Board (HPB), around 8,000 seniors are admitted to hospitals every year because of falls. HPB expects this number to rise as Singapore's population ages. Falls can be dangerous for an elderly person as they may result in head injuries and hip fractures.
Other exhibits at the AIP Studio make creative use of household items to improve the quality of life for seniors. “One complaint we often hear is that seniors have difficulty turning taps on and off, because of the effort needed,” says Dr Kee. The solution? A chopstick tied to the handle of a tap!
Under the Enhancement for Active Seniors (EASE) scheme, the Housing and Development Board installs elderly-friendly fittings in households with seniors at a subsidised cost. Since 2012, more than 100,000 households in Singapore have applied for the scheme.
Find out more or apply online at
HDB's EASE page.
For more tips, visit the Ageing-In-Place Studio at Toa Payoh Polyclinic, 2003 Lorong 8 Toa Payoh, Singapore 319260
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This article was last reviewed on
Monday, October 5, 2020
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