Even a mild stumble by an elderly person can mean some serious health consequences. That’s why it’s so important to ensure that senior citizens don’t trip and fall.
But as we age our sense of balance can become greatly compromised for a number of reasons. The body starts to break down and sustaining a slip and fall can be significantly more injurious to an elderly loved one. Even if there aren’t any immediate signs of injury or discomfort, there could be lingering health effects that might emerge later on.
A fall doesn’t have to happen. There are ways to prevent seniors from having a serious accident from stumbling over. But in order to take effective precautions to avoid these dangers, it’s important to know the primary causes that can contribute to a slip and fall taking place.
- Vision – As we get older our vision can begin to fail and that can make it tougher to navigate through even the most familiar spaces.
- Medical Conditions – Depending on the type of affliction, elderly adults may have mobility issues as a result of pain, disorientation, limited functionality, or medication side effects.
- Loss of Balance – Older individuals may not be as active as they once were and that can have negative impacts on one’s ability to maintain proper balance when they stand or walk.
- Unsafe Home Conditions – The home can pose some major challenges that may not have been so difficult in previous years due to some of the factors listed above.
Some of the most effective steps toward ensuring the safety of your elderly loved one are also among the most basic. healthy aging is an ongoing process and making small adjustments to the routines of senior citizens who are showing increased potential for a fall should be a number one priority to avoid possibly tragic consequences.
1. Safety Equipment
The first place to check to see if your senior is in danger of a slip and fall is the home. Most important are rooms and stairwells where your loved one spends most of their time.
All handrails should be sturdy and secure along every staircase from one floor to the next. Bathrooms may need handrails installed to help your senior get in and out of the bathtub or shower as well as near or next to the toilet. These are areas where your loved one may need some additional stability to maneuver.
Speaking of the bathroom, tubs and showers and bathroom floors can become hazardous due to the amount of wetness and moisture that exists from use. So be sure there are anti-slip mats placed inside these fixtures as well as outside of them.
2. Adequate Lighting
One of the primary causes of slip and falls in the home is due to a lack of proper light. Seniors may already have failing vision and poor lighting in and around the home can only exacerbate their inability to see what’s in front of them.
So be sure you examine the lighting throughout the home. Are rooms and hallways well-lit so that they are easy to walk through? If there are any doubts whatsoever, change the bulbs to a higher wattage for more illumination indoors and outdoors as well.
3. Eye Exams
Seniors who are having trouble with their vision are more prone to experiencing a slip and fall incident because they can’t see obstacles in their path. In order to help your elderly loved one move about the home with more success, make sure they are keeping up to date on visits to the eye doctor.
All the bright lighting and safety equipment in the home is going to be insufficient if your senior is having difficulty seeing. Be sure their eyeglasses have up to date prescriptions and that the frames fit correctly so as not to slip down periodically.
4. Proper Nutrition
A good diet is also an important component for ensuring that your senior doesn’t fall down. When we go without eating for extended periods of time the body can react in ways that bring about weakness, compromised mental faculties, and wooziness. These can all lead to a trip and fall situation.
The vitamins and nutrients that your senior consumes will go a long way towards helping them feel their best and making them more alert and secure about their mobility.
5. Physical Activity
Anyone seeking home care service in asheville nc for seniors should ensure that physical activity is encouraged and practiced for at least 15 minutes each day. These do not need to be strenuous exercises either, just enough to get your elderly loved one up and moving. This will improve balance and mobility.