When it comes to preventing falls in the home, you want to make sure that you take all necessary precautions to ensure that the person youâ€™re caring for does not go for a fall. The fear of having someone or yourself fall is something that you might think comes with aging, but it is not. Learning how to prevent falls can greatly reduce the risks of falling in home care. More than 1 in 3 people fall each year that are age 65 or older, and the falling risk is greater for women than men.
When the body ages, it decreases the bone density inside which contributes to these falls and can result in serious injuries if not properly prevented or cared for when it comes to senior care. Failure to regularly exercise in elder care is one of the leading contributions since this brings about loss of bone mass and flexibility and a decrease in muscle tone and strength. If youâ€™re in home care, preventing falls should be one of the highest priorities on your list.
Factors to Consider to Prevent Falls in Elder Care
- Are medications making them dizzy on a day to day basis? Are they sleeping medications?
- Do they get up in the middle of the night to get a drink of water or perhaps use the bathroom without supervision or help?
- Do they feel off balance throughout the day from time to time or regularly?
- Have they fallen before, or almost fallen before?
- Do they grip and hold onto items as they walk around the home?
If a lot of these answers pertain to the elderly patient, an evaluation might need to be done to ensure that they make the necessary changes to prevent falls in the home from happening. The therapist can make recommendations on the body, as well as the home to change any objects or pathways that might need improvement.
Safety Factors to Prevent Falls
Improve the lighting in the home.
Install handrails and grab bars throughout the home where necessary, such as by stairs or in the shower.
Move any and all items that are high above down low so they are easier to access.
Use non skid floor mats and rugs on the floors to create slip resistant areas to walk on, and try not to wax the floors.
Remove any rugs or mats that are in direct walkways throughout the home. Put the thresholds down lower in the doorways to prevent any trips or falls that might occur.
Use low and thin piled carpeting throughout the home.
You do not want the person to trip and fall on the carpets because they were too thick and make sure they are not worn out or torn up.
There should be enough lighting throughout the house so when it is dark, and they need to get up to use the bathroom or get water, they can easily access a light. This includes adding railings to stairwells that they might have to go down during the middle of the night. Nightlights are a perfect addition throughout the home that can provide an adequate amount of light.
Any and all cords and wires should be off the floor since these can cause anyone to trip, not just a person in senior care. They shouldnâ€™t even be placed under rugs since this creates a roll in the rug.
Chairs and furniture around the home should be easy to get up out of, and into without a lot of effort. They should not propose a risk because they are too deep or too low to get in and out of. Have no clutter around the home since this can block passage ways throughout the home and cause a person to trip or fall.
Have a phone in each and every room with emergency numbers by them just in case something was to happen.
Alzheimerâ€™s Orlando Home Care counselors at Partners in Healthcare are available to talk with you about your in-home care needs including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. We are an elder care agency providing Home Care in Orlando.