Did you know that falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths and non-injury related for seniors 65 and older? At any time or place, your aging loved one is at risk of falling. However, there are precautions you 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 is safe in their own home, here’s what you can do to minimize their risk of injury.
Health & Wellness Measures
- Start with making an appointment with your aging loved one’s doctor who will ask questions to assess the risk of falling. If your loved one has fallen before or has an existing health issue, it’s very important to consult with their doctor.
- Know about the medications being taken because certain medications or multiple medications can increase their risk of falling. Make sure the doctor knows what medications are being taken.
- Ensure that your aging loved one’s vision is checked regularly by their eye doctor. Our vision changes as we get older.
- Eating healthy is essential for the body, especially for seniors. Healthy eating helps promote strong bones and fuel for the body. Check on your aging loved one and make sure they are getting proper nutrients in their body.
- If possible, have your aging loved one take a walk every day, or try yoga. Moving the body can help reduce the risk of falling. Even a little exercise goes a long way. Seeing a physical therapist can 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 your aging loved one to have shoes that can be firmly fastened, fit comfortably and include non-skid soles.
- If 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.
- 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 big help.
- 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 double-stick tape, or just buy non-skid rugs.
- 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 at 513-246-4127 or visit www.assistedtransitionseniorliving.com.