While most adults can brush off a minor fall, the consequences become increasingly severe with age. For seniors, falling has long-term consequences that can affect physical and mental functions. That’s why elderly care and fall prevention are essential. To help keep your loved one safe and reduce their risk of accidents, here’s more about the potential hazards and how to avoid them.
A Fall Prevention Guide for Seniors
What Are Some Common Hazards?
As older adults age, they become more susceptible to falls due to the natural loss of muscle strength, balance and sensory impairment, increase in medications, health issues, and environmental factors. Muscles weaken and joints stiffen over time, and the visual and cognitive impairments that are common with old age can make balancing and gait more difficult.
Health conditions like anemia, arthritis, and dementia hinder cognitive performance and weaken the body. Sleeping pills, sedatives, and combinations of several medications can result in confusion and drowsiness during the day.
While these issues can increase the risk of falls, environmental hazards can trigger them. Common threats include tripping over uneven surfaces and clutter, slipping in bathtubs and showers, falling while sitting down or getting up, and inadequate lighting in stairways and hallways. Proper elderly care should address and attempt to eliminate these risk factors.
How Can You Help Prevent Falls?
To build strength and improve gait and balance, begin doing light workouts together or enroll your loved one in age-appropriate or fall-based exercise programs. Walking, swimming, yoga, and balance exercises provide the gentle daily activity seniors need.
Learn all of the possible side effects of your loved one’s medications. If they cause drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion, ask their doctor if there are any alternatives.
Keeping the house clean and organized can prevent accidents. Clear open areas of any cords, low furniture, books, throw rugs, and other items your loved one could trip over. Purchase a slip-proof bath mat for the tub.
Ensure all areas of the home are brightly lit and provide nightlights for hallways, bedrooms, and bathrooms. Walking aids like canes and walkers can help your loved one keep their balance.
Additionally, an elderly individual’s clothing should be comfortable, but not so loose that they could trip over the legs of their pants. Also, choose a reliable pair of slip-resistant shoes for daily use.
A dedicated caregiver will help your loved one lead a safer, more comfortable life. If you’re looking for quality elderly care, contact Safe Haven Home Care. Serving Queens, Manhattan, Bronx, Staten Island, and Brooklyn, NY, they offer compassionate and professional health services catered to each patient’s unique needs. Their fully licensed and certified staff is committed to improving the quality of life and maintaining the independence of your loved one. To learn more about their services, visit them online. Call (718) 968-6970 today to schedule a consultation.