If you have loved ones who are seniors, we are sure you have thought about them falling. Many people start to show some decrease in their balance and/or changes to their gait as we age. A fall can be very detrimental to a senior, even if they are lucky enough not to break anything. Falls can cause bruising, skin tears, and broken bones, as well as make someone apprehensive about getting up and around.
There are many ways to reduce the risk of falls in and around the home. Some simple things are:
- Ensure pathways through the house are clear of clutter and well lit
- Remove scatter or throw rugs. If you need to have an area carpet, ensure it is non-slip and is not curling on the edges
- Clear objects from stairs, and use a hand rail
- Turn the light on before going up or down the stairs – make sure you have a switch at the top and the bottom
- Consider installing nightlights in hallways and bathrooms
- Install anti-slip treads in the bathtub and/or shower
- Use a tub chair or have handrails installed in the bath or shower – make sure these are secured to a stud, and not just the wallboard
- Consider installing a handrail to assist with getting onto and up from the toilet – again, this should be secured to a stud
- Keep frequently used items in easily accessible locations
- Stay hydrated, take your medications as prescribed, and eat healthy meals
- Have salt and/or sand available to spread on icy pathways and driveways and have someone clear the snow for you
- Talk to your Doctor about exercises for improving your balance and strengthening your muscles, to make it less likely that you will lose your balance. This is important even if you haven’t fallen, or don’t think you have balance issues- it is preventative, and although not a guarantee you won’t fall, it certainly can help!
- Ask your local senior center about fall prevention workshops or classes
We discussed some of these in “Five Home Safety Basics You Need to Know” .
The wonderful caregivers here at Care at Home are trained to help your senior recognize trip hazards and help prevent falls. If your senior needs assistance, please contact us. We do provide Care at Home in RI and in CT. Call us in Rhode Island at 401.537.1609 or in Connecticut at 860.333.6841.