Articles of Interest

How Senior Home Care Can Help Prevent Problematic Falls and Fractures

Something as simple as tripping over a rug or slipping on a wet spot on the kitchen floor can mean a big change in your life, especially if you’re a senior. Every year, thousands of older men and women break and fracture bones due to slips, trips, and falls. A broken bone isn’t problematic for younger individuals, but for elderly folks, a break can lead to other serious problems and complications.

Every year, many elderly Americans injure themselves in or around their homes, and this is especially true for senior loved ones, who are at risk of falling. According to the National Safety Council, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths to individuals age 65 and older.

You are more prone to falling as you age for many reasons. These include failing eyesight, hearing problems, less muscle tone, and slowed reflexes. Diabetes, heart diseases, thyroid problems, nerve damage, and blood vessel problems can also affect your balance. Even some medications cause dizziness and can result in a fall.

Senior Home Care: Ensuring a Safe Living Space

In many cases your loved one will wish to remain in the comfort of his or her living space, but their safety should be top priority. In most cases, the majority of senior falls and injuries occur in a familiar home environment. Home care nurses are available to ensure senior’s living spaces are safe, when they’re visiting or when away. Home care nurses and respite care programs serve to make senior citizen’s home environments and quality of life safer and more secure—seniors can benefit from a little extra safety or support from easy home modifications, and enjoy their independence.

Aside from making the home environment safer, there are multiple simple ways seniors can prevent most falls from occurring. Fear of falling should not stop anyone from remaining active, getting together with friends, walking, gardening, or enjoying life and staying healthy.

To prevent falls and injury, it’s important to address overall health:

  • Stay active physically. Participate in an exercise program that’s right for you. Your senior home caregiver can assist you run errands, enjoy outdoor activities, and get regular exercise to improve strength and muscle tone. Regular exercise and movement keeps joints, ligaments, and tendons flexible.

  • Your senior caregiver can help your loved one get his/her eyesight and hearing tested often. Even small changes or losses of vision and hearing increase risk for falling. If your loved one wears eyeglasses, they should wear them at all times. A senior care provider can also ensure that your loved one’s hearing aid is in place and worn regularly.

  • Read the label and ask your doctor about the side effects of medicines. They can throw off balance and reflexes.

  • Use a cane, walker, or walking stick to feel steadier when walking—a senior care giver can assist when walking on unfamiliar surfaces, icy surfaces, or uneven surfaces.

  • Wear proper shoes—this means low heeled and rubber soled. Avoid wearing socks and smooth slippers as this can be unsafe.

Home Care nurses can identify and lessen fall risks and other safety risks for older folks who choose to live at home, the most important being fall prevention, and minimizing injury from falls. This is especially important as 1 in 3 seniors falls each year. It’s a good idea to wear a hip-protecting garment if prone or at an increased fall risk, and this garment can reduce the possibility of a hip fracture. Senior home care programs can recommend effective protection. Sedentary seniors are at greater risk of osteoporosis and are more prone to fractures. A home care nurse or senior home care program alongside care from relatives can help keep seniors active, confident, and keep up their activity level, in addition helping them about the house. Home care nurses take care of activities, such as cleaning or maintenance that could pose a risk.

Senior home care programs that provide home care nurses for seniors are a godsend in the event of an injury or accident. In a worst case scenario, an elderly person could fall and remain on the floor, injured for several hours or days because they live alone, are unable to move, or are unable to make a phone call. Home care nurses regularly check in, call, and visit elderly loved ones to ensure they are cared for and safe. Should a senior suffer a fall or accident, home care nurses get help quickly.

Each Visiting Angels agency is a franchise that is independently owned and operated. The Franchisor, Living Assistance Services Inc., does not control or manage the day to day business operations of any Visiting Angels franchised agency.