For those age 65 and older, falls are a very serious threat. As many as one in four older adults will experience a fall, and after falling, the possibility of falling again doubles. Senior falls often result in E/R visits, fractures, head injuries, and hospitalizations – not to mention the costs connected with falls: up to $50 billion per year.
The risk of falls in the elderly population is more common for a variety of reasons:
- Poor vision
- Challenges with balance and mobility
- Medication side effects
- Lower body weakness
- Foot pain or discomfort
- And more
So what exactly can you do to help the elders you love avoid a dangerous fall? There are several actions you can take. Encourage your elder loved ones to:
- Have routine eye exams. An elder should arrange an eye exam at least annually, and more often if suggested by the eye doctor. It might also be a good idea to replace progressive lenses or bifocals with two pairs of glasses: one for nearsightedness and another for farsightedness.
- Improve strength and balance. There are a variety of exercises geared towards enhancing balance and strengthening the leg muscles. DailyCaring offers a brief video with a few simple suggestions to get you started. Speak with the elder’s physician for approval, and then encourage the senior to incorporate these exercises into his or her daily routine.
- Schedule a check-up. The primary care physician can help minimize fall risk through a routine checkup. For example, ask the physician to review the elder’s medications (including OTC meds) for side effects such as sleepiness or dizziness. He or she can also assess an elder’s particular fall risk and offer recommendations to lessen that risk. Also ask the doctor about vitamin D supplements; insufficient quantities of vitamin D can weaken bones and result in an elevated risk of a fracture if a fall does occur.
- Perform a fall risk walk-through. Seemingly innocuous items in the house can conceal a hidden danger for older adults. Take a walk through the older adult’s home to check for throw rugs, low tables or any other furniture, missing handrails along the stairways, inadequate lighting, and any clutter hindering walking paths.
- Call Absolute Companion Care. Our professional care staff are readily available to perform a fall safety assessment to look for and make recommendations for changes to minimize fall risk. We can also help with mobility, safe showering/bathing and transfers, medication reminders, and various other services to help keep older adults safe from falls.
If an older adult does have a fall, even when it doesn’t appear to have caused injury, contact his or her doctor for an assessment and further recommendations to prevent another fall.
For a free in-home consultation, call Absolute Companion Care’s elder care experts any time at 410-357-9640. We can design a personalized plan of care to tackle any concerns and to make life safer and more enjoyable for elders at home.
Whether the need is for a few hours of respite care every week or around-the-clock live-in care, turn to Absolute Companion Care, one of the top-rated home care agencies in Towson, Maryland and the surrounding areas. We are here with the care solutions you need. Reach out to us today!