Family caregivers may not want to think about their aging relatives falling, but falls are an unfortunate reality for millions of senior citizens every year. One-fifth of falls causes a serious injury, like a fracture. About 800,000 people are admitted to hospitals per year after a fall. Falls can result in disability or even death. Even when a fall doesn’t cause an injury, some people become afraid of falling, so they become less active than they used to be. Although it is not possible to prevent all falls, there are steps that family caregivers can take to help reduce the risk of their older family member suffering a fall. Below are some tips for fall prevention.
Know the Risk
Talk to your aging relative’s doctor about their risk for falling. Find out if medications they are taking could make them dizzy or affect their balance. Also, have them evaluated for balance or mobility problems that could result in a fall.
Increase Physical Activity
Physical activity helps keep bones and muscles strong. Strong bones are less likely to break. Strong muscles support bones and joints, reducing the chances of falling. Exercises can also improve balance, make the senior more flexible, and help them with coordination. If the fear of falling makes the older adult reluctant to exercise, tell the doctor. They may suggest the senior go to physical therapy where they can be carefully monitored while they exercise.
Make Safety Changes in the Home
Look around the house for safety issues, like broken steps, stairwells missing handrails, and uneven surfaces. Repair broken and uneven surfaces. Add handrails on both sides of all steps. Add grab bars in the bedroom near the toilet and shower. If there are loose rugs in the home, remove them or adhere them with double sided tape designed for carpets.
Remind the Senior to Use Assistive Devices
If the doctor recommends that the older adult use a cane or walker, make sure they do. They may be resistant to the idea because they don’t want to appear incapable. They may even forget when the device is new. Encourage and remind them to use the device.
Get the Right Shoes
Wearing shoes with high heels, smooth soles, or that slide off the foot can result in a fall. Check your aging relative’s shoes. Make sure they fit well and aren’t worn out. Replace old or ill-fitting shoes promptly.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Manchester, NJ, contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care’s Ocean/Monmouth Division. Call today 732-719-7011.