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Seniors and Falls – Managing the Risk at Home
According to the National Council on Aging, one in four seniors over age 65 will experience a fall each year. In addition, falls are a leading cause of ER visits among senior citizens. Therefore, this should be a health risk that you actively manage with your older loved ones. Fortunately, you can significantly improve safety at home and minimize the risk of injuries with some simple home improvements. Working on balance exercises can also be beneficial for helping your loved one avoid a dangerous fall.
Why Falls Are So Common
Seniors often experience more difficulty in moving around for a variety of reasons. Musculoskeletal injuries and illnesses, such as arthritis and osteoporosis, can weaken the body and make it more challenging to perform simple tasks like walking or using the bathroom. In addition, many seniors struggle with vision and hearing loss. Thus, they simply may not see or hear physical hazards with enough time to avoid them. Seniors also tend to take a variety of different daily medications. Some of these medications may have side effects like drowsiness, dizziness, or low blood pressure. These effects can make a fall much more likely.
Another important consideration is the environment where seniors live. When older adults live alone at home, they often don’t remain on top of housekeeping tasks like cleaning and basic home repairs. So, there may be more hazards like loose items on the floor, frayed area rugs, and poor lighting.
How You Can Help Prevent Falls at Home
The good news is that most falls are preventable. Therefore, you can do a lot to preserve the health and safety of your loved one. Your first step should be a walk-through of the older adult’s home. Identify any potential tripping hazards like loose rugs, poorly placed furniture, dimly lit hallways, and slick floors. Install non-slip grips on rugs and add runner rugs to areas with slick floors made of tile or hardwood. Then, add additional lighting along hallways, in bathrooms, and other areas that may be hard to navigate at night. Next, you might install some railing and assistive devices to help move through the home and get in and out of the tub or shower. In addition, keeping the home clean and tidy can go a long way in fall prevention.
When to Look for Help
If an elderly loved one has recently sustained a fall-related injury, or you are worried about the risk, call Placita In Home Care for a no-obligation home safety evaluation. We can recommend home upgrades that will increase safety for your loved one. If necessary, we can also draw up an in-home care plan that includes light housekeeping, bathing and dressing, and other personal care tasks. Reach out to us today to start improving your peace of mind about your loved one’s health and wellness. Call (520) 221-2083.