Fall Prevention for Seniors Begins with Pre-Planning
Falls among older people are all too frequent and may have serious outcomes. Taking protective measures is key in effective fall prevention for seniors, such as assessing the home for fall dangers like area rugs or other trip and fall hazards, insufficient lighting, and a lack of appropriate grab bars and railings. But there is a new strategy being strongly recommended now: making 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 do not want to plan for a senior loved one to fall, we are able to be better equipped by helping the person take the following actions:
- Remain vigilant – Avoid letting your brain wander and instead keep your full focus on your surroundings.
- Check eyesight – Frequent eye assessments and regularly wearing glasses if needed can make sure tripping hazards are noticed and bypassed.
- Practice stability – Exercises as simple as lifting one foot off the ground and staying balanced on the other foot for approximately 30 seconds often helps.
- If a fall does take place, understanding the way 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 stiffness that can result in a break to your elbow or wrist when attempting to catch your fall.
- Roll through the fall, which distributes the impact associated with the fall over an increased part of the body rather than concentrating it on one location.
- Try to land on fatty tissue, such as on the thighs or bottom, rather than on more bony areas such as hips, knees, and elbows.
Taking the following proactive strategies can go a long way towards preventing a fall:
- Make certain all walking areas both outside and inside of the home are unencumbered by clutter and any likely tripping dangers, such as electrical cords
- Keep flooring surfaces, particularly in the bathroom and kitchen area, dry and clean
- Mount grab bars around the tub and toilet
- Make sure handrails are in place and secure along all stairwells
- Remove and replace any worn out carpets and remove all loose rugs
At Hired Hands Homecare, the top provider of home health care in Pleasanton and nearby areas, our home care team is trained in making the home environment as safe from falls as possible, and we are knowledgeable in providing ambulation assistance and oversight when necessary to help ensure fall risk is minimized. We’re also on hand to engage in doctor-sanctioned exercise programs to increase balance and flexibility, resulting in overall better overall health. Call us at (866) 940-4343 for a complimentary in-home assessment to learn more ways we are able to help!