Do you know how to help seniors avoid falling? Many older people live with the fear of falling and for a good reason. At least one-third of senior citizens fall each year, and of those, many will sustain life-altering injuries. Creating a safe environment should be a top priority for anyone who takes care of an elderly family member. Not only will specific changes around the home help to prevent falls, but they will also allow a person to live independently for many years to come.
Clutter contributes to many avoidable falls. Unfortunately, many seniors live in homes full of knick knacks they accumulated over the years. All it takes is one misplaced item for a person to stumble and injure themselves. That’s why it’s imperative to maintain an organized and clean environment.
Many older adults do not have the energy or strength to deep clean their home each week. Consider lending a hand with daily chores. Ask what items they want to keep, and sell or give away the rest. The more clutter you remove, the less likely your loved one is to fall.
Exercise is another way to help prevent falls in the home. Seniors should participate in some type of low-impact workout each week. Even those with mobility issues can find a suitable activity. From water aerobics to adapted yoga, there is something for everyone.
Not only does exercise help prevent obesity, but it also strengthens muscles. Studies even show that regular expertise may play a role in maintaining bone density. Seniors who workout every week show marked improvement in their balance and coordination skills. All of these factors play a part in reducing falls at home.
Believe it or not, certain types of clothing may increase the risk of falling. Seniors should make sure to wear clothes that fit just right—neither too tight nor too loose. Tight pants and shirts, for example, may cut off circulation and cause numbness. On the other hand, loose clothes may snag on furniture, resulting in a fall. Be mindful of the clothing you purchase for your loved one.
The same theory holds true for shoes. Seniors should wear supportive shoes with rubber soles. If a person has sensory issues in their feet, they should avoid walking around barefoot. This symptom is common in people with diabetes and some neurological disorders. Socks are prone to slipping, so be sure to purchase non-slip socks or slippers.
As a person ages, their mobility may begin to decline. Balance and fine motor skills are often the first to go. Making modifications to meet ADA guidelines can significantly reduce falls at home. If a house is two-stories, for example, it may be best to install a stairlift. Walk-in showers and roll-in baths make it safer to bathe at home. Add ramps for wheelchairs or walkers, and lower the height of counters and cabinets. Even installing a few handrails in the bathroom or bedroom will make it easier for an older person to move around.
No matter how much you want to care for your loved one, there will come a time when you need a few extra hands. Don’t be afraid to hire professional help. An in-home caregiver can help your family member with daily tasks, including bathing, cooking, and cleaning. If your loved one needs more specialized care, a private nurse can administer medications, insert feeding tubes, or change IV lines.
At Celestial Care, we understand the limitations of our clients. It’s our mission to create a safe environment where seniors can thrive and live independently. We employ the most skilled and compassionate caregivers and nurses in the industry. Connect with us to discuss what our caregivers do to help seniors avoid falling.