Protecting your elderly loved one from a fall is one of the most important ways to help someone maintain a full and active life. Roughly half of falls happen inside the homes of Canadian seniors, which means you have an opportunity to address immediate hazards.
Prevention is Possible
You have many strategies to draw upon to eliminate or reduce fall hazards. Increase safety with these recommendations:
- Check to see if the bathtub or shower has a nonslip surface. If not, provide a bath mat or replace the bath enclosure with nonslip materials.
- Attach bars and rails next to a toilet and inside a bath enclosure.
- Add a raised toilet seat and bath seat if the person has trouble getting up and down.
- Clear away clutter and organize possessions so that the person has fewer objects to trip over.
- Take away small rugs that could bunch up and trip somebody.
- Improve lighting.
- Remove obstacles between the bedroom and bath and place a nightlight in the path.
- Place handrails on both sides of any stairs, inside or outdoors.
The effects of aging can sneak up on a person. To help your loved one become aware of fall risks, talk to him or her about the danger. Informing the person that one in three people over age 65 fall every year could bring the message home. Also mention that advanced age increases the risk. Half of people fall by age 80.
This strategy includes the encouragement of a healthy lifestyle. For example, if a senior skips a meal, the lack of food could cause dizziness. Healthy eating and making an effort to stay active will help an elderly person retain physical strength. A decline in physical activity correlates directly with a higher risk of falling.
Recovering from Falls
If a senior does fall, you should instruct the person to take a moment before moving. Attempting to get up quickly could worsen injuries. After arranging for the person to receive medical attention, you’ll gain a better understanding of the injuries. Rehabilitation will likely include physical therapy. Encourage your loved one to complete this therapy because it could improve strength and balance. You should also attempt to guide your family member past the fear of another fall because remaining active is part of fall prevention.
Each senior faces specific challenges, and Safe Care Home Support will help you identify the fall hazards that threaten your loved one. Call us and schedule a consultation today.