Fall Prevention for Seniors: Safety Measures
The Risks of Falling
Falls cause more injuries to seniors than any other accident. Seniors can suffer from hip fractures, head injuries, and broken bones because of a fall. For these reasons, it’s important to educate yourself and your loved one on fall prevention to keep them safe.
Anything from vision problems to medication side effects can cause falls. But many falls can be prevented with a few safety measures designed to increase stability and support.
Start With Talking
A good place to start is having a talk with your loved one about fall prevention. Identify the most significant risks to falling your loved one faces so you can work to reduce them. Every senior’s needs are different, so discuss their fears and concerns.
For example, if he or she experiences periodic dizziness, work with a healthcare provider to address the problem. Or, if they are having vision problems, make sure they have a current prescription and are wearing the right glasses. If your loved one needs support when walking, sitting down, or getting up, they may benefit from physical therapy. A physical therapist can help your loved one work on his or her balance, gait, and overall strength, which can reduce or lessen the impact of falls.
Learn to Adapt
Adapt your loved one’s home for fall prevention. Steps like installing grab bars in the shower and secure railings on stairs can mitigate the risks of falling in the home. Make sure his or her home has good lighting and clear floors to lessen the chance of trips and stumbles. Consider working with an occupational therapist on this step, as they are trained to identify the barriers to safe and healthy living seniors face. Simple steps, like helping your senior around the house, can also reduce the risk of falling from normal activities like cleaning and cooking.
Take Preventative Action
Caring for your senior can be easy if you are aware of the risks he or she faces. Many seniors suffer injuries from even minor falls. Correcting what problems you can—like providing in-home adaptations—can help reduce the chance your senior will be injured. Also, make sure your senior is safe if he or she is in a nursing home. Nursing homes present many risks, and not all are prepared to protect every resident from falls and slips. And if your loved one is injured in a nursing home, speak with an experienced Arlington Heights area nursing home injury attorney who can help you get the help and compensation you need.