Falls are a serious public health issue for older adults in the United States. In fact, they are the leading cause of injury and death for persons age 65 and older, according to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2010, about 2.8 million older persons were treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.
Falls can be debilitating and even life-threatening, and they can happen to anyone, even the most independent and active seniors.
There are steps your senior can take to help prevent falls and reduce their severity, however. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Get a Checkup
If your senior is feeling unsteady on their feet, get checked out by their doctor. Often, doctors can spot problems that might lead to falling- such as dizziness, low blood pressure, and muscle weakness-and treat them before they become more serious.
2. Pay Attention to Their Surroundings
Make it a habit to scan your senior’s surroundings and avoid putting themselves in danger. If they are walking in a parking lot, look at the lines on the pavement and avoid walking through them.
3. Keep Their Home Safe
At home, your senior can take steps to minimize the risk of falling. Make sure they have good lighting in their home and that they are using illumination that can be dimmed. Consider installing handrails in the shower to help them get in and out, at the same time.
3. Stay Active
Falls are more likely to happen in older citizens who are inactive. Working with their home care assistance, develop a safe exercise program for them to follow. Exercise helps with your senior’s balance and coordination, which are key for preventing falls.
4. Wear the Right Shoes
Wearing shoes with good support is the best way to prevent falls. A good pair of shoes will help your senior’s feet, ankles, knees, and hips all work together in the right way. This is particularly important if they have trouble with mobility.
5. Watch for Slippery Surfaces
When your senior is in their home, be aware of any slippery surfaces that could cause them to slip and fall. Make sure that all of the floors in their home are dry. If your senior has any carpet, place some rugs on top of it or get rid of it altogether. Also be aware of their bathroom floors, which are often slippery when wet.
6. Take Precautions When Walking
When your senior is out, be aware of uneven ground. When possible, avoid walking on asphalt. It can be extremely hard to walk on, and they can easily trip over it.
7. Avoid Falling Objects
When your senior is in their home, always be aware of any objects that could fall on them. Make sure their house is organized and there is nothing on the floor that could cause them to trip.
8. Be Careful on Stairs
When the senior is walking up or down the stairs, make sure that they are holding onto the railing on the side. If they are not, their hands can slip, causing them to lose their balance.
Falls are a serious issue for seniors. If a fall occurs, there is a higher likelihood of a head injury or a broken bone. That’s why it’s important to take precautions to prevent falls from happening at all. Home care assistance can help your senior and keep them safe and independent in the comfort of their home. Call us today and review your options!
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Assistance in Northbrook, IL, contact the caring staff at Companion Services of America today at (847) 943-3786. Our home care service area includes Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glenview, Buffalo Grove, Evanston, Des Plaines, Skokie, Lake Forest, Wilmette and the surrounding areas.