For all those age 65 and older, falls are an immensely serious threat. Up to one in four older adults will experience a fall, and after falling, the chance of falling again doubles, which is why fall proofing your home is important for senior safety. Elderly falls often bring about E/R visits, fractures, head injuries, and hospitalizations – not to mention the expense associated with falls: up to $50 billion per year.
Falls are more common in older adults for an assortment of reasons:
- Poor vision
- Challenges with balance and mobility
- Medication side effects
- Lower body weakness
- Foot discomfort or pain
- And more
So, what exactly can you do to help the older adults you love protect against a dangerous fall? Following are a few easy steps you can take when fall proofing your home or the home of a senior loved one:
- Have routine eye exams. An older adult should schedule an eye exam on an annual basis, and more frequently if recommended by the ophthalmologist. 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 variety of exercises geared towards strengthening the leg muscles and enhancing balance. DailyCaring features a brief video with a few simple ideas to get you started. Speak with the older adult’s physician for approval, and then encourage the older adult to incorporate these exercises into his/her day-to-day routine.
- Schedule a checkup. The primary care physician can help minimize fall risk through a routine checkup. For instance, ask the physician to review the older adult’s medications (including OTC meds) for side effects such as dizziness or sleepiness. He or she can also evaluate a senior’s particular fall risk and offer recommendations to lessen that risk. Also ask the doctor about vitamin D supplements; insufficient levels of vitamin D can weaken bones and result in a heightened risk of a fracture if a fall does occur.
- Perform a fall risk walk-through. Relatively harmless items in the house can conceal a hidden danger for older adults. Take a walk-through of the senior’s house to look for throw rugs, low tables or other furniture, missing handrails along the stairways, inadequate lighting, and any clutter obstructing walking paths.
- Call Hearts at Home In-Home Care. Our highly skilled care staff are readily available to perform a fall safety assessment to look for and make suggestions for changes to minimize fall risk. We can also assist with mobility, safe bathing/showering and transfers, medication reminders, and various other services to keep seniors safe from falls.
If an older adult does have a fall, even when it doesn’t seem to have caused injury, contact his or her health care provider for an evaluation and additional guidance to prevent another fall.
For a free in-home assessment and to learn more about our top-rated elder care in Overland Park, Kansas and the surrounding areas, contact Hearts at Home In-Home Care’s aging care experts any time at 913-440-4209. We are able to create an individualized plan of care to tackle any concerns and to make life safer and more fulfilling for seniors at home.
Whether the need is for just a few hours of respite care weekly or around-the-clock live-in care, Hearts at Home In-Home Care, the top provider of elder care in Overland Park, Kansas and the surrounding areas, is here with the solution you need. Email us today!