Did you know that falls are the leading cause of injury-related death for seniors 65 and older? At any time or place, you and your aging loved one is at risk of falling. Did you also know that there are precautions we can take to reduce the risk of falling? If you’re caring for an aging loved one at home or want to ensure your loved one is safe in their own home, here’s what you can do to minimize their risk of injury.
Health and Wellness Measures
- Fall-prevention starts with making an appointment with the doctor who will ask questions to assess the risk of falling. It’s especially important to see a doctor if you or your loved one has fallen before, or if you have an existing health condition.
- Have knowledge about all medications being taken. Certain medications or multiple medications can significantly increase the risk of falling. Review all medications being taken with the doctor.
- Your vision should be checked regularly. Our vision changes as we age, so any prescription glasses and contacts should be updated as needed.
- Eating healthy is essential for the body. Proper nutrition is required to help promote strong bones and positive fuel for the body.
- Moving your body can help reduce the risk of falling. Have your aging loved one take a walk every day, or try yoga. A little bit goes a long way. Seeing a physical therapist can also help with balance, coordination and flexibility.
- Wearing proper shoes are important. Comfortable, slip-on shoes can be a tripping hazard if the shoes slip off. Wearing only socks can also be a hazard. It’s important for you or your aging loved one to have shoes that can be firmly fastened, fit comfortably and include non-skid soles.
- If you or your aging loved one is in need of any assistive devices, don’t resist using them.
Fall Prevention at Home
- Keep a medical alert button in areas of the house where most time is spent. For example in the bedroom, bathroom, living room, patio, kitchen, etc.
- If the home has stairs, make sure a handrail exists, preferably on both sides, and always use them.
- Install a walk-in bath or shower in place of a standard tub and add a handrail, a seat and non-skid mat. Just having non-skid mats are a plus.
- Make sure all floorboards, tile, carpeted areas and entryways are even.
- All small area rugs should be removed because someone could trip over them. If you don’t want to remove the rug, secure it with nails or double-stick tape.
- Beware of slippery floors. Purchase non-skid floor wax to cover over any hazardous floor space (wood stairs, bathrooms, hallways, etc.).
- Using night lights are very important. They should be scattered throughout the home, specifically in dark areas such as hallways, bathrooms, bedrooms and walk-in closets.
- Remove clutter. Always maintain a clear pathway for movement. Tape down any electrical wiring and move any plants, furniture, toys that could be tripped over.
For additional information contact Assisted Transition of Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky.