Elderly men and women have a much higher risk of falling accidents than their younger counterparts, due to a combination of the medications they are taking, mobility issues, and deteriorating physical shape. To add to the problem, getting back up from a fall can be next to impossible if the senior does not have the strength to push themselves upright, or has other health issues.
Whether you are the primary caregiver, or whether you employ an elder care professional, there are many things that you can do to help prevent a fall from ever happening, and to help your aging loved one feel more stable and secure around the house. Here are just a few ideas, which can easily be put into action today.
- Know the risk – Is your loved one prone to falling already? Is loss of balance a side effect of one of his or her medications? Knowing is half the battle, and the more you know about the level of risk your loved one has, the better you can prevent it from happening. Your family doctor can help you to ascertain how likely your loved one is to suffer from a fall, and the reasons why.
- Fall-proof the house – Handrails, benches, and other support systems can go a long way toward helping your senior to stay upright. Make sure that every stairway and every place where a senior has to get up and down, or might slip on a floor has a handle nearby, or a bench to sit down on if they feel tired or dizzy and need a break. Also, tape down any loose carpeting or rugs with double-backed tape to ensure that they won’t trip on any lumps or corners. If you have one, alert your elder care aide, so that they know that they may have to assist the senior as they move about the house as well.
- Select the right shoes – As I’m sure you can guess, flip-flops, high-heels, and clunky boots might be cute, but they can put even the youngest and most graceful of us at a higher risk for falling. Help your senior to pick out some sensible tennis shoes or other shoes that fit well and have non-skid soles, which will help to grip the floor and keep them from slipping or sliding.
- Brighten up the pathways – You can’t trip over something you can see, so make the lights in your house as bright as you can, to allow your loved one to see where they are going at all times, and to prevent any falls due to tripping.
- Stay in shape – Believe it or not, the more active your aging loved one is, the less likely they are to fall. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular exercise such as walking, yoga, or tai chi can help to stabilize the body, and lessen the likelihood of falls. Just be sure to check with a doctor before starting a fitness routine, as some could be too strenuous and cause unnecessary strain on the senior.
Once these tips are enacted, you should see a great decrease in the incidence of falls in your loved one. This will be very reassuring for them and for you, because it means that they can live a safer, more confident life.
If you or an aging loved one are considering in-home elder care in Spokane, WA, please contact the friendly staff at Love at Home Senior Care, today. Call (509) 204-4088
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