Contributing article: Live Well at Home by Eskaton
Falls among seniors are all too common and can have serious consequences. Taking preventative measures is important, including evaluating the home for fall dangers such as area rugs and other tripping hazards, insufficient lighting, and a lack of appropriate grab bars and railings. But there is a new strategy being supported now: developing a fall plan of care, which has been shown to decrease fall-related emergency room visits by as much as 40%, when executed correctly.
So while we do not want a senior loved one to fall, we are able to be better equipped by helping the person take the following actions and assisting in developing a fall prevention plan:
- Stay alert – Avoid letting your mind wander and instead keep your concentration on your surroundings.
- Check eyesight – Regular eye exams and always wearing glasses, if needed, can ensure tripping risks are seen and avoided.
- Practice balance – Exercises as simple as lifting one foot off the ground and staying balanced on the other foot for 30 seconds can help.
If a fall does happen, knowing how to fall more safely can reduce the chance of injury. In particular:
Prevent head injuries by turning your face away from the fall, or dropping your chin down to your chest if falling backward.
- Bend your knees and elbows to help prevent stiffness that can lead to elbow or wrist break when catching your fall.
- Roll through the fall, which can spread the impact of the fall over a larger percentage of your body instead of focusing it on one location.
- Attempt to fall on fatty tissue, such as on your bottom or thighs, rather than on bony areas like the hips, knees, and elbows.
Taking the following steps can go a long way towards avoiding a fall:
- Clear all walking areas both outside and inside of the home of clutter and any potential tripping hazards, such as extension cords.
- Keep flooring, especially in the bathroom and kitchen area, clean and dry.
- Install grab bars around the bathtub and toilet.
- Ensure handrails are positioned and secure alongside all stairwells.
- Replace any worn out carpeting and remove all throw rugs.
At Live Well, our caregiving team is experienced in making the home environment as safe from falls as possible, and we are skilled in providing ambulation assistance and supervision when necessary to help make sure fall risk is reduced. We are also on hand to engage in physician-recommended exercise programs to increase balance and flexibility, resulting in overall better health and wellbeing. Give us a call at 916-459-3220 or contact us online for a complimentary in-home consultation and discover how we provide the kind of senior care Roseville families prefer most!
Contacting Home Safety Services for an at-home falls prevention assessment is a great first step!