Few things are as devastating to an elderly person’s health as an injury sustained from a slip and fall accident. Not only are elderly adults more prone to falling, but they are also more susceptible to fall-related injuries such as a broken hip or head trauma. Understanding why older seniors are at an increased risk can help family caregivers take the proper precautions to keep their loved ones safely on their feet.
Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for elderly Americans, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The risk factors can be lowered, however, when family caregivers and senior care aides make it a priority to prepare the home and keep it safe. Watching out for the aging adult’s health and wellness is equally as important when it comes to staying on their feet.
Here are 7 helpful tips for family caregivers on what they can do to help prevent slip and fall accidents.
1. Talk about the risks of slip and fall accidents.
Family caregivers can talk with aging loved ones about working together on minimizing the risk of slip and fall accidents. Too often, seniors don’t believe that they are at risk for falling. Family members can do research together about what steps to take to identify hidden hazards and stay safe.
2. Assess the elderly person’s health conditions.
Dizziness and lightheadedness can cause a serious slip and fall accident. If an elderly person’s health often leaves them unsteady on their feet it is time for a doctor’s visit. Common conditions that may lead to frequent falling includes vertigo, arthritis, weakened lower body, dehydration and as a side effect of medicine.
3. Ensure vision is the best it can be.
Too often, seniors neglect to have annual eye exams. Poor vision can lead to many situations where the elderly adult can’t see well or their prescription needs updated. They may struggle when their eyes are slow to adjust from outside to inside light.
4. Consider walking aides.
Walkers and canes are ideal for helping elderly people avoid a slip and fall, but there are right ad wrong ways to use these assistive devices. A doctor of physical therapist can work with them to ensure the canes and walkers are helping and not hindering.
5. Stay healthy and strong.
Good nutrition, exercise and plenty of fluids are important for seniors to stay strong and develop good balance. Light exercise like walking, tai chi and yoga can strengthen weak muscles and boost confidence. Physical therapy can also help seniors with strength, stance and balance.
6. Clear the environment.
Family caregivers can do a lot to make sure the floors are clutter free. Keeping walkways clear, moving protruding furniture and securing throw rugs are all good ways of making sure seniors dong get triped up.
7. Install hand rails.
Seniors can support themselves if they feel unsteady with hand rails across the house. They help with going up and down stairs and getting in and out of the tub or shower. Rails can even provide support for seniors when using the toilet.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care Services in Needham MA, or anywhere in Eastern Massachusetts, please call the caring staff at CARE Resolutions – (508) 906-5572.