Fall Prevention Tips
Falls are no laughing matter, especially when it happens to older individuals. Among adults ages 65 and older, more than one in four experience a fall yearly, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Falls can cause broken bones, head trauma, and other severe injuries. Even near misses can have a negative effect causing individuals to feel anxiety and a fear of falling, which can result in a less active lifestyle.
Fall prevention can go a long way toward protecting your loved one’s health and can be relatively easy. Here are a few tips to get you started on your fall prevention journey:
Talk To Your Doctor
Communication is imperative when talking to your doctor; especially if you’re experiencing any weakness or dizziness. Falling can be due to many factors: new medication, weakness in muscles, poor balance, and low vision are just a few causes. Having your vision checked regularly is also a great way to avoid any obstacles that may be in your path and offset your balance.
Clear The Clutter
Take a quick inventory of all the rooms in the house. Imagine the path an individual would take to get from the kitchen to the living room or the bathroom. Are you seeing a clear pathway? If not, move coffee tables, chairs and side tables from high traffic areas to ensure that walkways are clear from clutter. Eliminate any cords, newspapers, boxes, or unnecessary decorations in your walking path. Fasten any loose floor panels, tiles, and screws to the floor. Get rid of any loose rugs or secure them firmly to the floor with double-sided sticky tape.
Let There Be Light
Keep your house well lit to avoid any tripping hazards. It can be as simple as turning on the lights as you go up and down the stairs, placing a lamp within reach in case you need it in the middle of the night, or placing night lights around your house. If you can see the tripping hazard, the less likely you’ll fall over it. Make sure you have flashlights and batteries stashed in easy-to-find places in case the power goes out.
Add Assistive Devices
The help of a cane or walker may be a great tool to keep you steady. Other assistive devices like hand rails on both sides of the stairwell, grab bars for your shower or tub, and no slip treads on the stairs can be very helpful to get around your house independently. If you’re unsure of what you need, an occupational therapist is a great resource to help you brainstorm a fall prevention plan.
Being sedentary and sitting at home all day will lead to muscle loss. Physical activity is a great way to strengthen your muscles and joints that help maintain your balance. It can be a simple activity like taking a walk around your neighborhood or going out for a swim. There are many low impact, senior-friendly exercises to choose from depending on your exercise level. These low impact activities can not only help your balance, but these activities can also improve your blood pressure, reduce pain, and better your overall health
Prevention is Key
Falls can happen to anyone. Taking precautions can go a long way in preventing or minimizing injuries in the elderly, even if you can’t stop them entirely. Help independent seniors remain safe and secure in the home of their choice. At Catholic Eldercare, we offer the comfort and security of a lifestyle that fits your needs, with ready access to care services at the level you need.Many of our residents enjoy maximizing their independence by utilizing the conveniences of community life. To lean more about senior care options at Catholic Eldercare, contact us today at 612-379-1370.