Apr 30, 2018 by Stephanie Howe - Owner, Comfort Keepers
Fall Risk Prevention in Senior Care: Keeping Your Loved One Safe
One of the most frightening realities for seniors is the increased risk of experiencing a fall that could result in a serious injury. Often, for older adults, the threat of falling shrouds their everyday activities in a certain degree of fear, and prevents them from confidently carrying out tasks that they need to accomplish, or that they simply enjoy.
As a caregiver, you want to take important steps toward fall risk prevention, so as to provide peace of mind for your loved one and yourself. By using these tips to secure the environment, improve safety, and help your loved one control their space, you can help them to make their world a more secure and stable place to carry out their daily routine, and maintain a sense of independence.
An essential element of senior care is the maintenance of medical appointments and records, and vision is one area of healthcare that directly influences balance and stability. With potential dangers, such as dropped or misplaced items, or moving hazards such as pets or even passing traffic, if a person cannot clearly see potential danger in the vicinity, the risk of a fall increases. It is important to make sure that your loved one keeps all appointments for vision care and vision screening with their healthcare practitioner.
Vision isn’t the only area that can affect a person’s risk of falling; seniors should be sure to discuss fall risk prevention and balance with their general practitioners, as well. The doctor will discuss ways that current medications might affect balance, and ask about the history of your loved one’s stability. Important factors, such as muscle strength and walking style can be assessed by the physician, who will then offer useful suggestions, tailored to your loved one’s specific needs.
While fear of falling can sometimes intimidate individuals, and prevent them from exercising, it is important for seniors to remain as active as possible, in order to prevent falls. With a doctor’s approval, seniors can often engage in fitness activities that promote healthy lifestyles, while increasing coordination.
Activities such as aquatics, tai ch,i and walking can help seniors to improve and maintain balance. For individuals who experience difficulty engaging in physical activity, in-home care providers such as Comfort Keepers in Toms River, New Jersey, offer in-home care solutions, such as mobility assistance, to help individuals maintain an active lifestyle.
Secure living space
All people, regardless of age or physical fitness level, are at risk for falling when there are overlooked hazards lurking in our dwelling spaces. Taking small steps to secure your loved one’s living environment can go a long way in preventing dangerous falls. When securing the living area, make adjustments to tripping hazards, such as loose carpeting and floorboards; remove items, such as extension cords, empty boxes and obtrusive furniture from high traffic areas.
Also, be sure to keep tools, cooking utensils, and other frequently used items within easy reach, and take advantage of assistive living devices, such as grab bars and raised toilet seats in showers and bathrooms. If you are unaware of the equipment that is available, consider consulting an occupational therapist, who can advise you on home care equipment, designed to improve safety, and prevent falls.
While the risk of falls is a reality, particularly for the elderly, rest assured that there are steps that can be taken to improve their safety within the home. If you believe that your loved one is at a great risk, consider consulting the team at Comfort Keepers by phone at 732-557-0010 or via online contact form to talk about options that are available.