Falls are one of the biggest concerns many older adults and their family caregivers have. Their fears aren’t unwarranted. About one out over every four people aged 65 and older will fall this year. Falling can result in serious injuries, including broken bones and head injuries. Some people end up disabled because of a fall. Falls can even result in death. The good news is that there are many things you can do to help your older family member avoid falling.
Below are some of the most often recommended tips for preventing falls in older adults.
#1: See a Doctor
Older adults should work with their doctor to determine their fall risks and take steps to mitigate them. Bring a complete list of the senior’s medications to the appointment and ask the doctor if any of them could cause dizziness or balance problems. In addition, have their vision checked since poor eyesight could cause them to trip over an unseen object or misjudge a step.
#2: Install Grab Bars
The bathroom is a common place for falls because of the combination of smooth surfaces and water. Grab bars placed near the toilet and bath or shower give your older family member something to hold on to as they sit down on the toilet or step into the bath. Another good place to install a grab bar is near the senior’s bed. This can help them to get out of bed independently without falling.
#3: Clean Up Clutter
Clutter in the home can be responsible for a fall because it often encroaches on walkways where the older adult could trip over it. Move furniture that pokes out into walkways and discard stacks of old magazines and newspapers that could spill over. Look for cords that are strung across doorways and walkways, too.
#4: Wear the Right Shoes
Shoes can cause a fall if they don’t fit well or are worn out. The wrong footwear, such as heels or those that slip off the heel can also make the older adult fall. Shoes should fit appropriately, offering enough room for toes, but fitting snugly on the heels. They should be comfortable and have non-skid soles.
#5: Stay Active
Inactivity weakens muscles and causes joints to become stiff. It can also impact balance. Older adults should strive to remain as active as possible in their regular activities. They should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on at least 5 days of the week.
Another way to prevent a fall in your aging relative is to enlist the assistance of elder care. An elder care provider can be with your older family member when family caregivers are at work or elsewhere, helping them to get up from chairs and walk safely about the house. Elder care providers can also help to keep the house clean and remove fall hazards.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional Elder Care Services in Somerset NJ, please talk to the caring staff at Generations Home Health Care today. Providing Home Care in Somerset, Essex, Union, Morris and Hunterdon Counties. Call us today at (908) 290-0691 or (973) 241-4534.