Banner
HomeBest Practices → How to Prevent Falls at Home for Seniors

How to Prevent Falls at Home for Seniors Print E-mail
Written by AHHC News   
Monday, 24 February 2020 17:37

For people who are 65 years old and older, falls are the top cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries. The injuries that falls can cause include broken bones, fractured hips, and head injuries. Not all falls result in injuries, but that’s not to say falls that don’t cause injuries are harmless. In fact, seniors who suffer a fall can become fearful or depressed, stemming from concern that they will fall again. Regardless of whether a senior suffers an injury after a fall, the important thing to do is take action to prevent it from happening again. Even better, take action before a fall occurs. As people reach old age, it’s not uncommon for them to fall, but that doesn’t mean it’s inevitable. Rather, a majority of falls can be prevented if one takes the necessary steps and precautions to prevent them from happening.

Talk with Your Fragile Senior Patients

It’s important to speak with your elderly patients about the potential for falls and how they feel about it. They could be concerned about falling and may not have told anyone, or they could be unconcerned about falling and think they won’t suffer a fall. They could also be having health problems in which they’re forgetful or having difficulties performing everyday tasks that used to be easy. Seniors need to know that they can and need to take the necessary steps and precautions to prevent falls.

Fall Proof the Home

People spend a lot of time in their homes, which is why it is important to make sure that your patient’s home is clear of clutter and other potential tripping hazards. In addition, sufficient lighting in a home will also help prevent falls. If a residence needs more lighting, add some where it’s necessary. For example, it’s ideal to have lighting at the top and the bottom of staircases, so consider adding lighting in either of those areas if that’s not already the case. Handrails and grab bars are other things you should consider adding to a senior’s home. Be it for the stairs or the bathroom, handrails and grab bars will help your seniors maintain their balance. Many staircases in a home already have a handrail, but adding another one on the opposite side can further assist with keeping one’s balance, helping to prevent falls.

Regularly Check Vision and Hearing

As we age, our vision tends to deteriorate. In fact, when you become older, less light can reach your retina. This makes it more difficult for you to see. As such, seniors will have a more difficult time spotting tripping hazards and other obstacles that can cause a fall. Knowing this, it is vital that your elderly patients have vision checked annually. If the patient wears prescription eyeglasses, this is especially crucial, as he or she may have had a change in their prescription since their last checkup. For those with lenses that change their tint for the sun, they need to be wary going from the outside to the inside, because it can be difficult to see inside with tinted lenses. Aside from vision checkups, seniors also need to have their hearing checked annually, because you ears play a key role in balance. 

Stay Active

Balance and coordination are things that can worsen as we age, but that doesn’t mean this has to be the case. Maintaining one’s balance and coordination is important in preventing falls, so seniors need to keep these strong. Interestingly enough, some elders may choose to be inactive with the hopes of limiting their risks of falling, but that can actually increase those chances. Staying active and exercising on a regular basis helps you build and maintain your balance, flexibility, and strength. Elderly patients should be encouraged to be active.

Check Medications

As healthcare professionals are well aware, some medications can cause side effects that increase the risk of falling. What's equally true is that some side effect free medications will cause problems when interacting with other drugs. Seniors typically take at least four prescription medicines per day. Examples of such side effects are dehydration and dizziness.

Enlist Family Support

While the seniors themselves should be the ones initiating fall prevention, their family members should also be supportive. Patients shouldn’t need to take such care on their own without help. Instead, they should know their family supports them and will do whatever it takes to help prevent falls. Find family members who will help seniors guarantee that their homes are safe, their health is in good condition, and that they remain active.

~~~~~~~~
Assisting Hands Home Care is based in Kendall and serves all of Miami-Dade. Learn more at www.assistinghands.com/miami.

Last Updated on Monday, 24 February 2020 18:00
 


Website design, development, and hosting provided by
Netphiles