Falls in the elderly are an immensely serious threat. Up to one in four seniors will experience a fall, and after falling, the risk of falling again doubles. Senior falls often bring about emergency room visits, fractures, head injuries, and hospitalizations – not to mention the expense related to falls: approximately $50 billion each year.
Falls tend to be more common in older adults for an assortment of reasons:
- Poor vision
- Challenges with balance and mobility
- Medication side effects
- Lower body weakness
- Foot discomfort or pain
- And more
So what exactly can you do in order to help the older adults you love protect against a dangerous fall? There are a number of steps you can take. Encourage your senior loved ones to:
- Have routine eye exams. An older adult should schedule an eye exam at least annually, and more frequently if advised by the eye doctor. It might also be wise to replace bifocals or progressive lenses with two pairs of glasses: one for nearsightedness and another for farsightedness.
- Improve balance and strength. There are a number of exercises aimed at enhancing balance and strengthening the leg muscles. DailyCaring offers a brief video with some simple suggestions to get you started. Talk to the senior’s physician for approval, and then encourage the older adult to add these exercises into his/her daily routine.
- Schedule a check-up. The primary care physician can help reduce fall risk through a routine checkup. For example, ask the physician to review the older adult’s medications (including OTC meds) for adverse side effects such as dizziness or sleepiness. He or she can also assess a senior’s particular fall risk and offer suggestions to lessen that risk. Also ask the physician about vitamin D supplements; inadequate levels of vitamin D can weaken bones and bring about an elevated likelihood of a fracture if a fall does occur.
- Perform a fall risk walk-through. Relatively harmless items in the house can hide a hidden danger for seniors. Take a walk through the older adult’s home to look for throw rugs, low tables or other furniture, missing handrails along the stairways, inadequate lighting, and any clutter obstructing walking paths.
- Call Morning Glory Home Care. Our highly skilled care staff are readily available to perform a fall safety assessment to look for and make suggestions for changes to minimize fall risk. We can also assist with mobility, safe bathing/showering and transfers, medication reminders, and a variety of other services to keep seniors safe from falls.
If a senior does have a fall, even if it does not seem to have resulted in injury, contact his or her doctor for an evaluation and further recommendations to prevent another fall.
For a no-cost in-home assessment and to learn more about our trusted elder care in Edwardsville, IL and the surrounding areas, contact Morning Glory Home Care’s aging care experts any time at 618-667-8400. We can design an individualized plan of care to handle any challenges and to make life safer and more enjoyable for older adults at home.
Whether the need is for just a couple hours of respite care each week or around-the-clock live-in care, Morning Glory Home Care, providers of top-rated elder care in Edwardsville, IL and nearby areas, is here with the solution you need. Call us today!