Did you know that falls are a significant cause of injury in seniors aged 65 and over, making them a leading public health concern? Senior falls can result in head injuries, hip fractures or other broken bones, a loss of confidence, and depression.
While falls in older adults may be common, they are not a normal part of aging, and with a few easy steps, they can be prevented. To help a senior loved one you know maintain independence, start with assessing his or her fall risk and making adjustments and lifestyle changes to promote safety. The National Council on Aging recommends the following:
Environment: Conduct a safety inspection several times each year of the home environment. Remove throw rugs and other trip and fall hazards; install grab bars in the bathroom; increase lighting inside and outside the home, and especially in pathways where the senior moves from room-to-room.
Medication: Some medications have side effects that can contribute to dizziness or sleepiness, making the senior unsteady on his or her feet and at greater risk for a fall. Review the side effects of prescription and over-the-counter medications with your loved one’s physician.
Vision: Many seniors have reduced vision, either due to age or to cataracts, glaucoma or other eye conditions. Seniors may also have difficulties seeing in low light environments. Be sure to schedule annual exams with an eye doctor to check vision health and for early intervention of common age-related eye health issues.
Balance and Gait: As people age, their coordination, flexibility and reflexes diminish. Help seniors remain active with low-impact exercises and strength training incorporated into a weekly routine. A physical therapist may also be able to help if there is an ongoing mobility or flexibility issue.
Chronic Health Conditions: Chronic health conditions like diabetes or stroke can lead to a reduction in activity level and a loss of function. Speak with the older adult’s physician to help determine modifications so that the senior can continue to be active, while maintaining safety.
Footwear. Proper footwear is essential to help seniors maintain mobility. Look for non-slip or non-skid soles, and shoes that are sturdy and supportive.
Another way to help prevent senior falls and ensure older loved ones are safe at home is to partner with a professional care provider like Visiting Care Giving Services, one of the most trusted providers of elder care services in St. Charles and surrounding areas. We offer a free in-home consultation and our compassionate caregivers can help by:
For further information about our top-rated elder care services in St. Charles and the surrounding communities that is designed to help seniors maintain dignity and safety, reach out to Visiting Care Giving Services today at (636) 493-9058. We’d love to learn more about your loved one’s unique care needs and help create a plan that promotes independence and peace of mind. To learn about all of the communities we serve, please visit the service area page on our website.