Reducing the Risk of Senior Falls
Reducing the Risk of Senior Falls
With aging, it’s not unusual for balance and coordination to begin to decline. Medications, poor eyesight, decreased strength or physical challenges can increase the risk of falling. Your loved one may have gone up the same stairs dozens of times, but today they tripped and fell. It’s a scenario to try to prevent by following these tips.
Falls can be dangerous for seniors because it increases their risk for injury. Broken bones take longer to heal, and bumps and bruises may lead to other complications. By taking steps to be proactive and reduce the risk, your loved one will be safer. September 22 is Falls Prevention Awareness Day and a wonderful time to brush up on safety tips you need to know.
- Clear any clutter that may have accumulated in their home, especially along frequently traveled areas. Make sure that everything has its place and is accessible to your senior so they’re more likely to put things away instead of leaving them lying around because they can’t bend or reach to put them back. Secure any rugs and tie back cords so they’re out of the way. Organization companies are a big help in de-cluttering homes and opening up walkways and halls.
- Install hand rails along any stairways (indoors and outside), and add grab bars in the bathroom near the shower or bathtub. Hire a professional to securely install these items so that you don’t have an amateur responsible for causing a potential accident. Having something to hold on to improves balance and gives your loved one a sense of security when navigating stairs.
- Improve lighting so that it’s easier to see furniture, rugs, stairs, and other obstacles. Get nightlights or motion sensor lights for if they get up at night. This way they don’t have to fumble for a light switch or lamp.
- Encourage your loved one to wear supportive shoes that have good traction. This can help with balance and keep them from tripping due to their heel flopping out or sliding because of poor traction. An occasional visit to the podiatrist is suggested as they will recommend good shoes for balance and stability.
- Involvement in yoga or other exercises that promote strength, coordination, flexibility, and balance is helpful. Staying active, working their muscles, and improving posture can reduce risk of falls and allow them to better catch themselves and regain balance.
- Vision and hearing should be checked regularly, as issues in these areas can affect balance and coordination. Hearing problems can throw off their equilibrium, and eye problems can affect everything from central and peripheral vision to focus, colors, and depth perception. Annual geriatric doctor visits will assess fall risk levels.
- Be alert to potential side effects from medication they may be taking that can increase risk of falls.
Pay attention to any challenges your loved one may face or changes in their mobility so that you can quickly and efficiently address potential fall risks. Do periodic sweeps of their home to stay on top of problems. Having an in-home caregiver can also keep your loved one safer. They’ll have someone there to supervise and assist with activities, help them to get in and out of bed or up from a chair, and work with them to ensure they’re practicing safe strategies. A caregiver can also take care of daily tasks that may be problematic or difficult for your aging parent. Always Best Care strives to support seniors in thriving at home and making the most of each day while ensuring safety and well-being. Call David Baim today at(267) 217-7059 [email protected] to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how in-home care can benefit your loved one.