Can Planning for Senior Falls Actually Prevent Them?
Senior falls are all too frequent and may have serious outcomes. Taking preventative measures is key, such as examining the house for fall risks like area rugs and various tripping hazards, inadequate lighting, and a lack of appropriate grab bars and railings. But there is also a new strategy being advised now: creating a fall plan of care, which, when utilized correctly, has been shown to reduce fall-related emergency room visits up to 40%.
So while we absolutely don’t want to plan for a loved one to fall, we are able to be better equipped by helping the person take the following steps:
- Stay vigilant – Avoid letting your mind wander and instead maintain your full focus on your surroundings.
- Check vision – Regular eye examinations and always wearing eyeglasses if required can make sure tripping hazards are seen and avoided.
- Practice balance and stability – Exercises as simple as lifting one foot off the ground and staying balanced on the other foot for approximately 30 seconds can help.
If a fall does occur, understanding how to fall more safely can minimize the possibility of injury. In particular:
- Prevent head injuries by deliberately turning your face away from the fall, or tucking your chin to your chest if falling backward.
- Bend the elbows and knees to avoid the rigidity that can produce a break to the wrist or elbow when attempting to catch your fall.
- Roll through the fall, which transfers the impact associated with the fall over a larger percentage of your body instead of concentrating it on a single area.
- Attempt to fall on fatty tissue, such as on your thighs or bottom, instead of on more bony areas like hips, knees, and elbows.
Taking the following proactive steps also can go a long way towards preventing a fall:
- Be sure that all walking areas both inside and outside of the house are free of clutter and any likely tripping hazards, such as electrical cords
- Keep floors, particularly in the bathroom and kitchen, dry and clean
- Mount grab bars around the bathtub and toilet
- Make sure handrails are in place and secure alongside all stairwells
- Remove and replace any worn out carpets and remove all throw rugs
At Hired Hands Homecare, our home care team is experienced in making the home environment as safe and secure from falls as it can be, and we are knowledgeable in providing ambulation assistance and oversight when needed to help make sure fall risk is decreased. We are also available to take part in doctor-approved exercise programs to enhance stability and flexibility, resulting in better overall health. To learn more about our Santa Rosa in home care services, Contact us online or give us a call at (866) 940-4343 for a free in-home consultation to find out additional ways we can help! For a full list of all of the communities where we provide our award-winning care, please visit our Service Area page.