Falling is the leading cause of injury among the elderly, so while it may not seem like that big a topic, it is important to minimize the risk of falls for yourself or your loved one. While in some cases an assisted living facility is the ideal solution, there are other measures you can take to prevent falls.
• Exercise: Gentle exercise such as water workouts, walking, or tai chi can help improve strength, coordination, and flexibility. This all serves to increase balance and stability, reducing the risk of falls and subsequent injury.
• Remove hazards: Various hazards in the home may increase the risk of falling. Boxes, cords, furniture, loose mats, and other obstacles should be removed from high traffic areas to prevent tripping or slipping. In addition, spills and messes should be cleaned up promptly and items such as dishes should be kept in easy reach.
• Proper footwear: Heels, slippers, flip-flops, and smooth soled shoes can increase the risk of a fall. To prevent falls, consider using sturdy footwear with non-slip soles. Additionally, replacing shoes once they get worn will also prevent slipping or tripping.
• Lighting: Keep proper lighting in the home by placing lamps in each area. Maintain clear paths to light switches, and keep a lamp by the bed for when you or your loved one needs to get up late at night. In addition to proper lighting, keeping eyesight sharp with corrective lenses or contacts will also help prevent falls.
• Mind medications: Some medications, such as antidepressants or sedatives, can increase the risk of falling. Consulting with a doctor on the medications you or your loved one takes can open a discussion on which medications may prove hazardous and whether their use should be discontinued.
• Assistive devices: Handrails, nonslip mats, raised toilet seats, and shower grab bars can all be used to make a home more fall-proof. If needed, use a walker or cane to help maintain balance.
In some cases, moving to an independent living facility is the most secure option for preventing falls. For example, Senior Care Centers provides independent living options for our residents that are all on one level, eliminating the hazard of stairs. These facilities are designed for both comfort and security, and they cut out many of the risks that lead to falls and injury. In addition, your loved one will have ready access to whatever assistance may be necessary. To learn more, contact Senior Care Centers today.