People who aren’t health care professionals are providing significant care as the population ages. In the United
Tips to Lower the Risk of Falls in Senior-adult
Less energy, weakened muscles, changes in mentation, and certain medical diagnosis are some obstacles that our seniors face while aging. It is proven that when seniors are not able to perform their daily activities without someone’s assistance, the chances of falling increases.
In 2014 approximately 2.8 million older adults were treated in emergency rooms for falls. According to statistics of “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention”, every year one in three older-seniors who are 65 and above will fall. This could be a normal slip or fall due to less balance that may not be a worrying factor in the case of youngsters, but in senior-adults, these normal falls can lead to getting injuries that are so severe they lose their abilities to live independently.
Because falls are the leading cause of injuries for seniors, caregivers and family members of seniors should be aware of the cruciality of preventing falls.
If you are worried about your senior’s falling, then we have good news for you! These falls are preventable!
By making some arrangements you can render a safe environment for your loved seniors. But before digging into the preventions of falling, you should know the cause of falls.
What Causes Falls?
There could be several reasons that may cause a fall in seniors. With different environments, care arrangements, and health, each individual has different possibilities that could lead to a fall happening.
Some of the common reasons that lead to fall are –
Age – The normal changes of aging, naturally cause lesser body strength, bone density, and other physical concerns. Such changes in the body lead to illnesses and unbalanced physical conditions that cause falls. Weak body structure not only causes the falls, it also makes it harder for senior-adults to get back up.Also, vision change is common in the elderly while aging. Many seniors suffer from visual issues. What many do not know is that Alzheimers affects vision also, causing decreased peripheral vision causing a significant increase for frequent falls. Supportive care in the home with these seniors can reduce or eliminate falls for our seniors.
Living Environment – While aging, body power and health concerns are already working against a senior-adult. So, at this time it becomes crucial to create a safe and easily accessible environment for them so that they can live in a safer place.
Some hazards that can potentially create danger are:
Miscellaneous objects on the floor
Chronic or Acute Health Concerns – Chronic or acute health concerns are common in the elderly. Less body strength, poor bone density, and pain in joints can cause side effects that increase one’s chances of falling.Chronic diseases like Arthritis, Parkinson’s, and more that are common while aging can cause weakness in the body, poor balance, and bad eyesight that lead to falls. Acute issues such as medication lapse, dizziness, blood pressure variations and UTI’s can also cause an increase in falls
Actions You Can Take to Prevent Falling
As falls are extremely common in senior-adults, it’s crucial to take every action possible to stop falls. We can reduce the risk of falling significantly by making some adjustments to incorporate in your seniors day to day life including providing assistive care and monitoring. Many falls happen while rushing to use the bathroom, answering a phone call or completing tasks such as showering. Ensuring your senior has the proper support in the home is key to reduction of falls
Here is the list of 7 Practical Tips to Lower the Risk of Falls in Senior-adults –
1. Evaluate the risk of falling – The very first thing that we need to do to help our aging seniors safe from falls is to properly analyze the risk of their falling. For this, we need to determine things that our seniors are doing in routine –
Do they use medications that make them sleepy or drowsy?
What hurdles come in their way while moving about the home?
Do they have trouble getting in and out of bed?
Do they have vision concerns?
What health issues do they have?
Have they fallen before?
By evaluating such points, you will get the picture of their level of risk, you can understand the extent of the change you may need to make around the home. Maybe your seniors require minor adjustments in their surroundings. Once you’ve determined the level of risk, you can prepare them for a safer living situation in the home.
2. Proper Lighting in Home – With decreased visual abilities for our seniors, proper lighting is very crucial to the reduction of falls. Many falls occur at night during bathroom routines. Ensuring proper lighting in areas such as the hallway and bathroom can eliminate falls. Adding a simple automatic light or night light to illuminate areas of the home can assist in the reduction of falls.
3. Stair Safety – Navigating stairs can be a difficult task for seniors, specifically for seniors with the beginnings of physical decline. Ensuring stair safety can provide a reduction of falls. If possible relocating the senior to a first-floor location or location with elevator access is best practice. When this is not possible, educate the senior to always take their time when navigating stairs. There are also devices such as stairlifts that can assist from transport between floors.
4. Appropriate Clothing/footwear- Wearing proper fitting clothing is important for ease of transfers and increased independence with ADL care. Clothing that is too tight can provide significant difficulty when using the bathroom or getting ready for senior’s day. Similarly, loose-fitting clothes can cause seniors to trip. Some seniors can lose muscle mass and weight as they age and have certain medical diagnoses. Always make sure that your senior has appropriately fitted and comfortable clothing.
Footwear is of utmost importance when reducing fall risk. Wearing non-skid socks or shoes with a rubber sole secured to the foot can significantly reduce falls in seniors. Neuropathy can cause limited feeling in the senior’s feet often causing the inability to grip the floor. Regular wearing of socks can cause the senior to slide when attempting to transfer and can cause injury
5. Get Adequate Calcium, Vitamin D, and Magnesium, if required – While aging usually our body absorbs fewer minerals that lead to decreased bone health. To maintain the efficiency of minerals such as Calcium, Vitamin D, and Magnesium, doctors often recommend supplements.
Bone health and muscle strength are vital in protecting seniors’ bodies as they age. Weakened systems can cause seniors to be more easily prone to injury. Ensure your senior receives routine blood work and coordinates with their primary care provider as needed.
6. Keep a neat & tidy environment – Giving your seniors a neat and tidy environment for living is the best way to prevent falls. To avoid falls at home, we need to maintain a clutter free environment.
Assisting the seniors in decluttering or rearranging their living environment is a great start when their health begins to decline. Ensuring there are large path areas set up for proper use of assistive devices such as a walker, cane, or wheelchair is important. As said before, any throw rugs need to be secured to the floor or removed to prevent tripping hazards.
Setting up grab bars in the bathroom, use of shower chairs or over the toilet commodes are also very useful in preventing injury during activities of daily living.
7. Routined Exercise & Diet – Taking care of the health of seniors to maintain their body strength is the finest way for preventing falls. Incorporating appropriate light exercises and a healthy diet in their routine helps them improve physical mobility and strength.
Try low low-impact muscle strengthening exercises and an easy to digest diet that contains a variety of minerals. These body strengthening approaches give your loved seniors the ability to balance their bodies and prevent falls.
Fall Prevention at Silver Sitters
Silver Sitters provides comprehensive in-home care services for seniors that help you rest assured knowing our qualified staff is available 24/7 to prevent falling and reduce fall risk. Our team of professional caregivers works hard to provide the best safety and care to you or your loved seniors.
We also provide care assistance with daily living tasks and personalized care for whatever needs you may have. If you or your loved one is considering in-home care services in Florida, contact Silver Sitters today
For more information on the above and recommendations from our skilled Care managers give us a call to set up an in home assessment. It is our passion to partner with you and your seniors to provide you with best in class care brought to you by our Silver Sitters Home Care Team!
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