Fall Prevention Tips for Seniors
An unexpected fall was usually something you could bounce back from when you were younger. However, for seniors, a fall can cause serious harm and may immediately affect their ability to live independently. That’s why fall prevention is an essential part of effective senior care.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates more than one in every four seniors fall every year. Of that number, one in five falls will result in a serious injury that could require hospitalization.
These statistics are definitely daunting, but you can help protect yourself or help your parents by understanding the risks and applying proven fall prevention techniques. Fewer falls also mean seniors can enjoy greater freedom and comfort at home.
Reduce Fall Risk with These Fall Prevention Methods
While falls pose a significant risk for seniors, it helps to find out what makes you more susceptible. Do you have any difficulty walking, standing up, or navigating stairs due to joint pain? Do you have any specific conditions or take any medications that might affect your balance?
Check in with your doctor about your overall health and any particular issues that could increase your risk of a fall. Keep in mind, that impaired hearing and vision can also affect your depth perception and overall ability to move around your home with ease.
Speaking of your physical condition, exercising regularly may also help prevent possible falls by strengthening your body and improving your coordination. Activities like Tai Chi and water aerobics are gentle, rigorous ways to strengthen your legs and improve your balance. Going on walks can also help you feel more sure-footed at home.
Of course, if you have any concerns about which exercises are best for you, you should consult your doctor before you commit to any class or program.
Don’t forget to consider your physical space. What can you do to make your home safer from a fall prevention perspective? Look around piles of clutter, cords, and other obstructions that make it easier to trip or slip. Once you’ve tidied up, ask yourself which areas pose the greatest risk.
For example, many seniors find stairs and bathrooms to be treacherous. If you find it physically difficult to go up and down the stairs or gauging the difference between each step, adding more lighting, handrails, and non-slip treads may help you feel more confident as you move around.
To safeguard your bathroom, consider adding guardrails to the bathtub and rearranging items so everything you need is within easy reach. Depending on your situation, you may also want to consider investing in raised toilet seats and other safety equipment.
How We Can Assist with Fall Prevention
A fall, even if it doesn’t result in a major injury, can still be a very jarring experience that makes you feel less comfortable at home. The CDC also notes that the risk of a fall increases for seniors who have fallen already.
At Visiting Angels, we tend to the cognitive, emotional, and physical needs of our clients so they can live as independently as possible in the homes they love. Through our Fall Prevention Program, we can conduct a full fall assessment and provide personalized guidance to minimize your risk.