Falls are a common occurrence among older Americans, with over 36 million falls reported each year. While many of the effects of aging can lead to a higher risk of falling, falls don’t have to be a part of your or your loved one’s experience. You can take steps to help seniors avoid accidents and prevent falls; make your senior’s home a safer place.
Falls don’t just happen. They have a cause. Understanding why falls happen helps older adults and caregivers better plan and prevent them. For older Americans, most falls result from one or more of these factors,
- Loss of balance and coordination
- Vision impairment
- Medication side-effects such as dizziness
- Obstacles in the environment
- Chronic health conditions
While the causes of falls are varied, the solutions are simple and easy for seniors and their caregivers to enact. To help prevent your senior loved one from falling,
- Talk to them about what concerns they have about falling. Discuss the common causes and determine your senior’s risk factors for falls.
- Ensure your senior loved one has had a recent eye exam. Do they need glasses or an updated prescription? Ensuring your senior can clearly see their surroundings is one of the most important ways to prevent falls.
- Discuss health conditions your senior has and their side effects. If you know what risks they have from chronic conditions, you can more easily plan activities and help them create a safe living environment.
- Discuss medications and their side effects. If their medications cause severe dizziness or other side effects that can lead to falls, look at their medication schedule. Consider moving medications with heavy side effects to times where they’re less likely to be active.
- Install mobility aids around the home. Safety rails along stairs and handrails at the tub/shower and toilet are important to home improvements. Determine with them other places where they worry about falling or have trouble with motion, so you know additional places to install rails and other mobility aids.
- Keep their living space free of clutter. Keeping things clean helps ensure that your senior doesn’t trip and fall over items left strewn about.
- Do regular walkthroughs of your senior’s living space. Ensure that their home has proper lighting, that mobility aides are firmly attached to walls and other surfaces, and that any other hazards are removed or repaired.
- Falls are common, but they don’t have to be a fact of aging. Work with your senior loved ones to help them make their home a safe place.
Home Care in Philadelphia from an Angel
Do you or your loved one need home care services in Philadelphia or surrounding areas? We offer a wide range of services to help seniors and those with special needs live their best lives. Contact us to set up an appointment and we will match you with one of our Angels or help you choose your Angel as part of the PAS program.