Reducing the Risk of Falls for Seniors

Falls can be extremely dangerous for seniors, not just because of the initial injuries, which can themselves be devastating, but because of the longer term effects they can have.

Breaking a bone in a fall can lead to an elderly person being laid up in bed for months.  If that person was a particularly active person then this not only causes an overall reduction in their physical capability, the feeling of withdrawal and isolation can also have a serious effect on their mental state.

September 22 is Falls Prevention Awareness Day which means it is a good time to start considering what we can do to prevent falls amongst the elderly, especially in their own homes.

The following are things that you, or their career if they have elderly care in Richmond, can do to try and prevent falls from happening.

  • Ensure that everywhere they walk in the house is free from any obstacles. Elderly people’s house tend to accumulate more clutter and this can end up being a trip hazard unless it is cleared up frequently.  Sometimes furnishings themselves can also be a danger.  Make sure that rugs are secure and that floor hanging curtains are tied back.
  • Install safety devices such as hand rails. Installing rails in areas where they are most likely to fall will give them something to grab hold of if they stumble, hopefully preventing further injury.
  • Another safety device that may prove useful is motion controlled lights. These ensure that a person won’t have to find a light switch if they get up in the night.  Often, they won’t bother switching the light on as they are familiar with the layout.  A motion sensor will solve that problem.  It is also worth checking out at this point if all of the lights in the house are working.
  • Exercise is still important. An activity such as yoga builds strength, improves flexibility and will make balance far easier.  This makes falling far less likely, but it also improves the prospects of not getting injured if they do fall.
  • Check their senses and ensure aid is provided where needed. Regular eye tests are important to ensure that their vision is not impaired.  Hearing tests are important too, hearing problems lead to balance problems which in turn can lead to falls.
Posted In: Elderly care