Let Assisting Hands Help Prevent In-Home Falls
For seniors over the age of 65 years, falls are the leading cause of injury and death (according to the CDC). There are many reasons for this, such as:
- Environmental Factors
To make matters worse, those who have fallen once are very likely to fall again within 6 months. Current data suggests a rate as high as 75%. While this is all very troubling, there are actions that you and your loved ones can take to minimize these risks, and our experts here at Assisting Hands Schaumburg want to help.
Consult Your Doctor
If you or a loved one has fallen, or has had a close call, then consult your doctor about fall prevention. In some cases, reviewing medication types and doses can have a tremendously positive effect.
Falls and near-falls are often the result of improperly taking medication. It is important to take medicine as prescribed (e.g. dosages, time of day, with or without food, etc.). If medications are used improperly, then dizziness, loss of balance, and other symptoms may prevail. Additionally, do not stop taking medication without first speaking with your doctor.
Finally, ask your physician about exercise, balance training, and increasing your level of physical activity. It is often beneficial to start this with an evaluation by a physical therapist and audiologist.
Maintain a Clean At-Home Environment
It is critical that you and your loved ones maintain an environment that is as safe and clutter-free as possible. Practical steps that can be taken include:
- Wearing shoes with nonskid soles (instead of sandals or house slippers)
- Maintaining a well-lit home (this will ensure that you can see items that may pose a tripping hazard)
- Removing throw rugs and tacking down loose carpets
- Keeping floors clear and removing loose cords from pathways
- Installing handles and grab bars near bathtubs, showers, and toilets
- Installing handrails on both sides of stairways
- Avoiding the use of step stools and ladders (allow someone else to retrieve out of reach items)
- Ensuring that your floor is clean of liquids, and is not waxed
Consider Home Care
If you or a loved one experiences difficulty with everyday tasks, such as getting out of bed in the morning, standing up from chairs, and preparing food, then it may be time to hire outside help.
In-home caregivers can be utilized at different times of the day depending on your needs. This ensures a level of independence for you or your loved one, but provides an extra layer of security during specific tasks. Additionally, if illnesses are a periodic problem, then other factors may be at play that a caregiver can assist with (e.g. cleaning, food preparation, mental stimulus, etc.).
Physical therapists can prescribe a strengthening program to help you stay on your feet. They can even perform a home safety screen. We should note, though, that some seniors are notorious for “forgetting” to do their exercises.
Finally, we would like to add that all of our home aides here at Assisting Hands Schaumburg are specifically trained in fall prevention through the Fall Prevention Centers of America. While we would love the opportunity to get to know you and your loved ones, we understand that hiring a caregiver is a big decision, so take your time. If you would like to utilize our resources, then feel free to contact our representatives at (847) 448-0844.
Regardless, we hope that these fall protection and fall prevention tips have helped you gain a greater understanding of the main reasons for falls, and how to minimize contributing factors.