Fall is right around the corner, and it’s the perfect time to think about a different type of fall–the dangerous one. As more people over the age of 65 choose to age in place in the comfort of their own home, it’s important to ensure that the home provides a safe environment. Preventing falls is one of the best ways to do that. One of the first steps is to understand the risks associated with falling.
Know the risks
According to the CDC, the following may increase your older loved one’s risk of falling:
- Lower body weakness
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Difficulties with walking and balance
- Use of medicines, such as tranquilizers, sedatives or antidepressants. Even some over-the-counter medicines can affect balance.
- Vision problems
- Foot pain or poor footwear
- Home hazards such as broken or uneven steps, uneven rugs and clutter
Take these steps to reduce the risk of falling:
- Provide ways to be stable and balanced when walking or showering. Install handrails in the shower as this is a common place to lose balance.
- Ensure all areas of the home are well lit to avoid tripping over unseen objects.
- Whether indoors or outside, wear rubber-soled, non-slip supportive shoes to help prevent slipping.
- Clear clutter.
- Check for uneven floors. Carpet is a significantly better option for avoiding slips.
- Secure small rugs to the floor to provide firmer footing.
Seek professional help
Sometimes preventative measures in the home can only go so far. If you start to notice your loved one is having increased balance or mobility problems, it may be time to seek professional help.
- Start with talking to your doctor about potential reasons why you could be at risk of falling. It could be certain medications you are taking or vitamins you are lacking that causes you to lose balance; it can even alert your doctor of any new conditions. Your doctor may recommend more exercise to help strengthen your bones to keep you more balanced.
- Speak to a home care professional about options for in-home assistance Sometimes having a helping hand inside the house adds that extra layer of protection for your loved ones and provides you with the peace of mind you need.
For more fall prevention tips, download SYNERGY HomeCare’s free Fall Prevention Guide.
SYNERGY HomeCare offers no obligation home assessments. Contact us to learn how we can help identify fall risks and make recommendations to create a safer home environment.