Visiting Angels Lewisburg Blog

Fall Prevention and Seniors

Every year, one in three seniors experience a fall, and one in five seniors sustain a serious injury, such as a broken hip, fracture, concussion, or other serious injuries. Not only can a senior suffer a serious injury from a fall but falls tend to be a big reason a senior can no longer live independently.

There are many reasons why a senior might experience a fall. A fall might occur due to an environmental risk factor, such as poor lighting, slippery surfaces, or clutter in the home or walkways. A fall might occur due to a physical risk factor, such as poor eyesight, weakened muscles, or a medication that affects balance. The great news is that falls are preventable. By identifying and removing environmental risk factors, and addressing physical risk factors, you can greatly reduce your risk for a fall. Here are three areas to consider in order to prevent a fall at home.

Identify and Remove Environmental Risk Factors Elderly man who has fallen

Start by identifying areas of your aging loved one’s home that could potentially cause a fall. Remove slippery rugs and use non-slip mats instead. Ensure adequate lighting throughout the home, utilizing additional lamps or night lights in dimly lit hallways or entryways. Clear the clutter and rearrange furniture so that your loved one can freely move about without having to climb over baskets or piles. Encourage your loved one to wear non-slip footwear around their home. Remember to involve your aging loved one, asking them their preferences before you make changes so that they stay in control of their home.

Address Physical Risk Factors

Preventing a fall could be as easy as wearing the correct prescription lenses. If your aging loved one hasn’t had an eye exam in the last year or two, schedule an appointment so any vision loss or change can be addressed. Loss of strength and muscle is a normal part of aging and can increase one’s risk for a fall. Encourage your loved one to improve their muscle strength, improve balance, and increase endurance through exercise. Walking aids, such as canes or walkers, can help someone who may struggle with balance.

Communicate with Their Physician

Finally, be sure to include your aging loved one’s physician regarding any concerns you may have about falls. Ask their physician to review your loved one’s current medications to ensure that he or she is properly taking them. Some medications may cause imbalance, vertigo, or dizziness, which can all lead to a fall. Ask for their recommendations regarding fall prevention, especially if your loved one is hesitant to address their environment or physical risk factors. Sometimes seniors are more willing to listen to their doctor, even if their family is telling them the same things.

If proper care is not taken to reduce the risk of a fall, seniors may feel the social and emotional impact of their fall more strongly. They may avoid social situations for fear of falling again. This can lead to loneliness or even depression. If you or an aging loved one has suffered a fall and need help to maintain your independence, know that Visiting Angels Lewisburg is here to support you. Our compassionate caregivers specialize in fall prevention and can give you the tools you need to remain in the comfort of your home. Please contact us today by calling 570-768-4747 so that we can learn more about your situation.

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.