Reducing Risks of Falling for Seniors
While you may not be able to always stop a senior from falling, you can take some steps to help reduce the risk.
Not only are seniors more prone to falling, but they are also more susceptible to fall-related injuries such as a broken hip or head trauma. Should your loved one need care after a fall and injury or surgery, Promyse Home Care will work with your parents or loved one’s doctors, specialists, and caregivers to tailor a care plan designed for the quickest recovery at home in a comfortable and familiar environment.
Falls are the leading cause of injury among older Canadians with 20-30% seniors experiencing one or more falls each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is telling us that “more than one out of four older people falls each year, but less than half tell their doctor. Falling once doubles your chances of falling again.”
Preventative measures to help your loved ones from falling:
Install better, brighter lighting.
Seniors cannot always see that well in a dark or shadowed room. Better, brighter lighting can help to light the way. On this same subject, assess the location of light switches. These may be out of reach for someone in a wheelchair. There are choices now to automate turning lights on or off such as Smart Light, quite easy to use and great for seniors. Smart bulbs are just regular LED bulbs manufactured with an embedded Wi-Fi receiver.
While it may seem easy to step out of a shower, an unsteady senior may slip and come crashing to the floor. To help, provide non-slip mats in the bathtub and shower. Install grab bars in strategic points around the bathroom and inside the shower stall or just above the bathtub to help a senior with lowering or standing up. Seating when showering is a good idea, and a shower head with a hand-held nozzle can be easily turned away in the case of sudden water temperature changes.
Throw rugs may spruce up a room, but they can be dangerous for seniors. It is so common for bathroom mats, kitchen mats near the sink, and living room mats to slip. Tacking rugs down with two-sided carpet tape may avoid stumbling over any loose surfaces or simply remove them in areas that a senior may stumble over them easily.
Whether inside or outside the senior’s home, stairs can be major concerns. Aging eyes may not always be able to separate one step from the next. To help, you could try replacing the carpet on each step to make the steps easier to spot. In the case of bare steps, try painting each step a different color. All flights of stairs should also have secure handrails on both sides of the stairs.
General home safety
Are there any power cords stretched across a senior’s floor? Tape them down or slide them underneath or behind furniture. A more mobile senior may be able to sidestep a footstool or a coffee table but not all seniors can do this. Remove unneeded furniture to give the senior more room to maneuver and help to create a safer living environment
Shoes need to fit well and have non-slip soles. Shoes with Velcro straps can be easier to tighten or loosen. They also remove any risk of tripping over long laces.
Whether through regular walking or light exercising and stretching, an active senior can remain more stable than a sedentary senior. Exercising can help prevent falls by keeping stabilizing muscles strong.
Your independence, safety & dignity are our highest priorities at Promyse Home Care. We provide nurse managed and home care services in the comfort of your home. Designed to meet your individual preferences and personal needs, our care plans are customized for you and delivered by compassionate, friendly, professional caregivers.
A phone consultation or an in-home consultation with one of our nurses will help us understand your needs.