Falling isn’t seen as a huge risk for most individuals, but for seniors, a fall could lead to serious injuries, broken or fractured bones and in some cases, complications from a fall may cause premature death. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the problem is much larger than many people realize. Falls are among the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries among those aged 65 an older, resulting in more than 2.4 million trips to the emergency room or hospital.
As a leading provider of home care in the Lehigh Valley, we know the importance of a safe home environment when the goal of the senior is to age in place comfortably and with dignity. The following are just a few simple steps that seniors and their families can take to help prevent falls at home and preserve independence.
- Monitor Medication Carefully – Side effects of certain medication can include dizziness and weakness, which greatly increases the chances of a fall. If you provide care for an aging parent or loved one, closely monitoring how their medication makes them feel can help prevent injuries. If you are unable to monitor medications on a regular basis, consider help from an hourly caregiver in the Lehigh Valley. These individuals can assist your loved one at home with a variety of things from medication reminders to personal care and light housekeeping.
- Maintain a Healthy Diet – Not eating well means the body isn’t getting the nutrients it needs to function right and can lead to weakened muscles, brittle bones and more serious issues such as malnutrition. By eating a proper and well balanced diet, seniors can avoid these risks and ensure their bodies are strong, helping to prevent a fall.
- Participate in a Daily Exercise Routine – Exercise is important for individuals of all ages, but is an activity that is extremely important for the elderly. Regular exercise promotes balance and flexibility and also helps to strengthen muscles, all which can help decrease overall fall risk. Those who exercise regularly also tend to have better reaction times, meaning a senior may be able to catch themselves from falling.
- Have Regular Eye Check Ups – We often take our vision for granted, not thinking of how difficult regular daily activities would be if our vision were impaired. Declining vision or loss of vision can making getting around the home more difficult, increasing the risks for trips and falls. However, seniors who receive regular eye exams can identify changes in vision early, preventing such accidents from happening at home.
- Make Sure the House is Safe – A clean, well lit house is sure to prevent an elderly person from falling and injuring themselves. Also, make sure large pieces of furniture are pushed against the walls so there are clear walkways and remove any rugs that may increase the risk for slips.
While falling is a scary prospect, especially for the elderly, there are many precautions that can be taken in order to remain safe and healthy. If you feel the above suggestions are still not enough to ensure safety at home because of a loved one’s unique care needs, reach out to Home Care Assistance at 484-350-3874 and learn why we are the trusted choice for both hourly and 24 hour home care in the Lehigh Valley. We offer complimentary consultations and are available 24/7 – we look forward to hearing from you.