According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the number one cause of injuries and fatal injuries in older adults in the United States. Falls and the fear of falling can lead to disability and loss of quality of life. Preventing falls is an important part of being a family caregiver for an elder. Below are some tips to help prevent your aging family member from falling.
Talk About Falling
Simply talking to seniors about falling can help. Ask if they worry about falling. If so, find out why they worry and suggest that they talk to their doctor about dizziness, loss of balance, or previous falls. It’s common for older adults to be aware that there is a risk of falling, but to believe that they will not fall, even if they have fallen before.
De-Clutter the Home
Clutter in the home can be a tripping hazard. Get rid of things that are lying around, like stacks of newspapers or magazines. It is especially important to remove anything in walkways that the senior could trip over.
Have Vision Checked
Elders who do not see well are more likely to fall. Talk to the eye doctor about reducing fall risks. Bifocals can make it difficult for people to focus while walking on stairs. Tinted glasses make adjusting to light changes more difficult. If your parent has low vision, see a doctor who specializes in low vision and ask about aids.
Make Frequently Used Items Easy to Reach
Reaching for items that are difficult to get to can result in falls. Store things the senior uses often in places that are easy to get to. Also, purchase grabbers that extend reach without needing to bend over or stand on ladders.
Install Grab Bars
Place grab bars in the bathroom for your parent to hold on to when exiting and entering the bath or shower or when using the toilet. Make sure that all stairwells have handrails.
Choose Proper Footwear
The right shoes can make a difference. Elders should wear shoes that fit well and have good traction. They should avoid shoes that are floppy, slip off the foot, or that have high heels.
If your parent worries about falling or is at greater risk of falling due to health conditions, hiring an elder care provider could keep them safer. An elder care provider can help to keep the house tidy, eliminating clutter. They can also make sure the home is well-lit, changing lightbulbs when they burn out. Having an elder care provider check in on your parent at least once per day also helps ensure that, should they fall, someone will find them in a timely fashion.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Chicago IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.