As adults age, the risk of falling increases. Every year, millions of seniors will experience a fall. One out of five falls lead to serious injuries resulting in a hospital trip. Today, fall prevention is even more important since the elderly are at a greater risk for complications than ever before because of COVID-19.
Preventing a senior from falling can make a world of difference. Even a less severe fall can affect their independence, well-being, and lifestyle. Planning care for our senior loved one includes considering fall prevention in order to prepare for life changes before an emergency.
Risk Factors for Falling
Often, when a senior takes a fall, it is an accident. You can significantly reduce the odds of your loved one having an accident if certain safety precautions are practiced.
To determine what puts the one you’re caring for at risk, ask them questions about medications they are taking, their symptoms, and daily life. Consider any medical conditions that the senior may have and any changes that can be made to their home or lifestyle. The following are important to pay attention to as they can lead to unnecessary falls or accidents if not properly taken care of:
- Poor vision
- Hearing disorders
- Blood pressure changes
- Foot pain or numbness
- Lower body weakness
- Vitamin D deficiency
Medication Side Effects
- Low blood sugar
Inside of the Home
Since six out of every ten falls occur at home, it is also essential to look at an older person’s environment and make modifications that will decrease their chances of falling because of tripping hazards.
It is possible to find hazards in each room of the house. Therefore, doing a walkthrough of each room is recommended.
Look through the walkways and halls of the home. If there is clutter in pathways, such as clothes, boxes, cords, shoes, etc., you will want to remove these hazards. If there are any rugs, you will either want to remove them or make sure they are secured to the floor to prevent tripping.
Proper lighting can also be helpful. Make sure there are working night lights or lamps to prevent nighttime accidents. A visit to the bathroom or refrigerator will be much safer if your loved one can see where they’re going.
The bathroom can be a scary place for an older person. When safety measures are ignored, it becomes the area where many falls occur. Make sure the bathtub or shower has a non-slip mat to prevent falls and a sturdy bath seat if needed. Grab bars in the shower can also help seniors stay safe while getting into and out of the tub or shower. If the senior has difficulty getting on or off of the toilet, a raised seat or one with armrests would be a helpful option.
If seniors have staircases in their homes, they should have proper handrails as well so that they can properly brace themselves and secure their balance when using stairs.
While assessing a senior’s environment can prevent falls, accidents can still occur.
One thing you may want to check is their footwear. Make sure they have comfortable, sturdy shoes that fit properly. Shoes with nonskid soles are the best choice for someone at risk for falling. Avoid shoes, sandals, or slippers that could increase their risk of slipping or tripping.
Depending on how difficult it is for a senior to walk or keep their balance, a walker or cane may be needed to assist them. Even if they are capable of walking on their own, they may become tired or weak quickly.
Staying healthy helps prevent falls, as it keeps the body strong. A senior will want to stay hydrated, obtain the right nutrients, and exercise if at whatever pace they are able to. Keeping up their strength can help them fight off other risks as well, such as coronavirus and the flu this winter.
Is Assisted Living Right for Your Loved One?
While there are many ways to prevent falls, some seniors need more than just modifications to their homes and habits. If doing simple tasks alone has become difficult or dangerous, assisted living could be their best option.
Deciding if an older adult should move to an assisted living home is a big decision. Some seniors may worry that by moving they will lose their independence. However, this is not true. An elderly person has a chance at becoming more independent, when they are provided with the right resources and opportunities.
Signs It is Time for Assisted Living
- Your senior loved one can’t perform daily tasks safely
- They can’t keep up with their personal hygiene
- They withdraw from social activities
- They fall or have accidents
What The Kensington Redondo Beach Offers
The Kensington Redondo Beach will make your senior loved one feel comfortable, safe, and supported. We offer clinical support, with nursing staff on-site 24/7.
Residents can build close relationships with other residents and staff while receiving help or support tailored specifically to their needs.
Our rehabilitation programs, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy, which could offer your loved one a chance to maintain or regain their independence.
We also know concerns over COVID-19 are currently top of mind. At The Kensington Redondo Beach, we take those concerns seriously. We continually work at keeping a COVID -safe environment by following all CDC recommendations and requirements.
Reach out to us today, and we can help you decide if a transition to senior living is the safest option for your senior loved one.
Recommended Additional Reading:
- Life Enrichment in Assisted Living During COVID
- When Is the Right Time to Prepare for a Move to Assisted Living?
- Overwhelmed with Caregiving? Give These Relaxation Tips a Try