Falls are a chief concern among elderly caregivers, and with good reason: Among adults ages 65 and older, falls are the leading cause of injury and death and the most common cause of nonfatal injuries.1
And it's not an uncommon occurrence: According to the Centers for Disease Control2, one in three adults ages 65 and older fall each year.
Here's a look at a few preventative steps that loved ones and caregivers can take to help lower the chances of falls.
Walks around the neighborhood are a great prevention method that provide fresh air and a change of scenery! Try accompanying your loved one to get them up and out of the house.
Helping elderly loved ones to at least maintain (or even increase!) leg strength is important.
Staying active on a daily basis is critical for them!
Simply getting up from a chair or bed and walking around the house a few times a day to stretch muscles can do wonders. Encourage your loved one to do so every hour or two.
Sometimes, medications can interact with each other and create negative side effects, including dizziness. Ask your elderly loved ones if they've felt any dizziness lately.
Check with their doctors or pharmacist about the different medications, especially new ones, and ask specifically if they can cause dizziness when interacting with any other medications.
If so, ask for a different medication or solution to prevent it.
It might seem tedious for them, but a regular checkup can make a world of difference for the elderly.
Maintaining vision is important, too. Taking your elderly loved ones for regular eye exams and keeping their glasses prescriptions updated can't be swept aside.
Ask them if anything is feeling different than usual – even if it's not necessarily bad – as it's important to let their doctor know. They might not speak up otherwise.
Take your loved one to get a cane or walker if you think they need it, but make sure they pick out the one they like and that is most comfortable. Letting them choose makes it feel more like their own decision (if they're hesitant).
Shower chairs, railings, and (if it's in the budget) a walk-in shower can make simple tasks much more manageable and safer.
Purchase some tennis balls for them, in case they'd like to put them on the bottom of the walker to make it move better and/or not get caught on a rug.
Other options like a stair lift, a lifting chair, and an outside ramp to the door can help if needed.
For example: Something as simple as a somewhat narrow path between a TV stand and couch/coffee table that never posed a problem before can suddenly not be enough space or can be an obstacle to trip on.
Having an open layout might help, too.
Moving things around and allowing for more comfortable walking areas helps alleviate those concerns.
In-Home Senior Care
Did you know Senior Helpers offers personal care that assists your elderly loved ones in day-to-day personal tasks like bathing and getting dressed? It's easy to slip or trip while doing both of these activities, but with this personalized care, they'll have someone to help them throughout the process to ensure that they stay safe.
Have another question about preventative steps to take, or interested in speaking to us about services?
Contact Senior Helpers today and learn more about our in-home senior care on our website.