As we all get older, the risk of falling increases and so do the consequences. Did you know that one in four senior Americans fall every year? And that one in five of those cause serious injury such as a broken bone or head trauma? The question of falling often is more of a when then an if. So what can you do to prevent falls? If you or a loved one is above 65, here’s four simple things you can do to help prevent.
Acknowledging the Situation
The biggest thing you can do to help yourself and your loved ones is to acknowledge the situation. Many older adults recognize that falling is a risk, but they believe it won’t happen to them or they won’t get hurt—even if they’ve already fallen in the past. Accepting that it can happen to anyone is the hardest part, but the most important step in fall prevention. Those who are on their guard and cautious about falling are rarely the ones who end up in the hospital with a broken bone.
Current Health and Medications
Understanding the seniors current health challenges can shed some light on where problems might occur. Ask about the medications they are taking and if they experience any side effects. Some medications have side effects such as dizziness, forgetfulness, drowsiness, nausea, bowel and bladder problems, and loss of coordination.
These side effects may cause the senior to take unnecessary trip to the bathroom or other rooms of the home while bing compromised through dizziness or other side effects. Try to limit the amount of medications with these kinds of side effects when possible.
Be sure that seeing isn’t an issue. If needed, see an eye doctor for a check up. Being able to see clearly can help reduce the risks of falling by allowing the senior to clearly see their surroundings.
A Safer Home
In an ideal situation, the entirety of the seniors home would be on one floor without steps or stairs. Knowing that this is rarely the case, it is important that the senior can move from room to room without assistance. Look for key places where a fall could happen, such as a stairwell, the shower and bathroom, or a step up from one room to the other. Evaluate these areas and make sure there are suitable hand rails for stability easily accessible to the senior.
There may also be some areas of the home where the lighting is insufficient, making it hard for the senior to see steps or hand rails. Make sure there is good lighting throughout the house. Light switches should also be accessible and easy to find at night.
At Assisting hands we provide the best in at home care. If you or a loved one is in need of assistance, we provide 24-7 care as well as part time care, grocery shopping, light cleaning, and much more!