For anyone age 65 and older, falls are an extremely serious threat. Up to one out of four seniors will experience a fall, and after falling, the risk of falling again doubles. Older adult falls often lead to E/R visits, fractures, head injuries, and hospitalizations – not to mention the costs related to falls: as much as $50 billion each year.
Falls are more frequent in seniors for many different reasons:
- Poor vision
- Challenges with balance and mobility
- Medication side effects
- Lower body weakness
- Foot pain or discomfort
- And more
What exactly can you do to help the seniors you love prevent a dangerous fall? Try these fall prevention strategies at home:
- Have routine eye exams. An older adult should schedule an eye exam on an annual basis, and more often if advised by the eye doctor. It might also be smart to replace bifocals or progressive lenses with two pairs of glasses: one for nearsightedness and another for farsightedness.
- Improve strength and balance. There are a large variety of exercises designed for enhancing balance and strengthening the leg muscles. DailyCaring features a brief video with a few simple tips to get you started. Speak with the older adult’s physician for approval, and then encourage the senior to add these exercises into his or her daily routine.
- Schedule a checkup. The primary care physician can help decrease fall risk through a routine checkup. For instance, ask the doctor to review the senior’s medications (including OTC meds) for adverse side effects like dizziness or sleepiness. He or she can also assess an older adult’s specific fall risk and offer recommendations to lessen that risk. Also ask the physician about vitamin D supplements; insufficient quantities of vitamin D can weaken bones and lead to an elevated danger of a fracture if a fall does occur.
- Perform a fall risk walk-through. Seemingly harmless items in the house can obscure a hidden danger for seniors. Take a walk through the older adult’s house to check for throw rugs, low tables or other furniture, missing handrails along the stairways, insufficient lighting, and any clutter obstructing walking paths.
- Call Live Free Home Health Care. Our professional care staff are available to perform a fall safety assessment to look for and then make suggestions for changes to lessen fall risk. We can also assist with mobility, safe showering/bathing and transfers, medication reminders, and a variety of other services to help keep seniors safe from falls.
If a senior does have a fall, even if it did not result in injury, contact his or her doctor for an assessment and further recommendations to prevent another fall.
For a complimentary in-home assessment, connect with Live Free Home Health Care’s aging care experts any time at 603-217-0149. We are able to create a customized plan of care to manage any challenges and to make life safer and more fulfilling for seniors who need care at home in Bristol, New Hampshire or the surrounding communities.
Whether the need is for just a couple of hours of respite care each week or 24-hour live-in care, Live Free Home Health Care is here with the solution you need. Reach out to us today!