Reducing the Risk of Falls for Seniors

September 22 is Falls Prevention Awareness Day and in preparation for that it is an ideal time to consider how we can best protect our elderly loved ones from falls.

The increased number of falls experienced by elderly people are down to a number of factors.  Balance and coordination are on the decline, eyesight, hearing and other senses are failing and physical strength is decreasing, which means that what used to be a minor stumble is now turning into a serious fall.

With any person, falling has consequences, but in the elderly these consequences can be infinitely more serious.  Broken bones take a long time to heal, being bedridden leads to feelings of isolation, feeling cut off leads to the onset of dementia related conditions.  This is why it is so important to try and minimize the risks of falls, here are a few things to try.

  • Clear the clutter – Have a look round your loved ones house, are the stairs free from clutter is there anything they can trip over? Work out the route they take from the lounge to the bathroom to the kitchen to the bedroom and make sure it is clear.  If they have home care in Potomac then this is something their carer will monitor on a daily basis.
  • Improve lighting – Can they see where they are going if they need to get up in the night? Make sure that lights are working and that light switches are accessible.  Consider motion sensors and night lights.
  • Footwear – Make sure the shoes that they wear around the house aren’t old and torn. A loose sole can be a potential trip hazard.  Encourage them to wear shoes that have a decent grip.
  • Exercise – Strong active muscles do not only prevent falls, they can also make it much more likely that a person is able to correct themselves if they stumble. A regular exercise regime can help ensure muscles stay fit.
  • Vision and hearing – Get this checked regularly, a lack of sight can lead to them missing obstacles and hearing problems can affect balance. If they are prescribed with glasses or a hearing aid then ensure they are wearing them .
  • Medication side effects – If a regular medication causes drowsiness then ensure that they are not on their feet when taking it.
Posted In: Home care