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Helping Your Older Relatives Prevent a Fall

By: | Tags: | Comments: 0 | August 23rd, 2017

It would seem natural that as people get older and less active, they also reduce their risk for activity based injuries. After all, most seniors don’t do a lot of risky running, jumping, and climbing that can result in dangerous falls, but they don’t have to. As the body slows down, so too does the ability to control your knees and hips and many seniors face instability even while limiting their activities to walking carefully. Falling is, in fact, the leading cause of injuries in seniors which explains why fall prevention is such an important issue to prepare for with your older relatives. If someone you love is above the age of 65, you can help lower the risk of falling.

Step 1) Get Their Support in Fall Prevention

There is very little you can do to prevent falls without the cooperation of the person you’re trying to protect. While you can always make their environment safer, only they can choose their actions and decide to move carefully. Therefore the first and most important step is to get the support and cooperation of your senior relative. Talk to them about the risk of falls and show them that you’re honestly concerned. Most people will agree that falling is not desirable and will be willing to hear you out.

Step 2) Determine Falling Risks Based on Health

The overall health of your older relative is an important factor in fall prevention. Anything from weakness to forgetfulness can increase the risk of falls for a vast number of reasons. Once they are on board with the fall prevention program, have a discussion about their health and any ways that it might contribute to an accidental fall.

Step 3) Keep Vision Correction Current

The ability to see obstacles is understandably important when considering fall prevention, especially when it comes to dodging small items on the floor like pet toys or anything that has been recently dropped. Because eyes tend to degenerate faster after 50, make sure they see an eye doctor at least once a year to keep their prescription and lens choices current.

Step 4) Be Aware of Physical Difficulties

If your older relative seems unstable when sitting or standing up or has a tendency to hold onto walls and furniture when they move, this is a good sign that they need a little extra help. The right cane or walker can free their dependency from stabilizing furniture while exercise to train balance and strength can help them regain some personal stability.

Step 5) Check Their Medications

Any medication, including non-prescription things like pain killers and cold medicine, can affect a person’s stability and mental acuity, thus their ability to avoid falls. Go through the medication your older relative is taking and make sure they are accounting for risky side effects. Another potential problem is forgetfulness. You can make sure that medications are being taken consistently and on-time with a  reminder system.

Step 6) Improve Home Safety

There are several ways to improve the safety of their home as well. Increased lighting is always a good idea, followed by the installation of extra supportive bars. Stairs, for instance, should have a railing on both sides. The bathroom is another important place for stabilizing bars. Shower chairs are also usually a helpful addition.

As a person gets older, they face an increasingly high risk of falling and taking serious damage from a fall should one occur. If you have an older loved one who is no longer completely sure on their feet, you can help keep them safe by taking an active interest in fall prevention procedures. For more information on helpful home care, please contact us today!

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