Each year, thousands of elderly people fall and hurt themselves. Slip-and-falls are one of the main causes of injury and loss of independence in people who are aged 65 and older. Older people fall for numerous reasons. They may lose their balance when stepping off a curb, or thy may tumble after getting dizzy from taking their medications. Some slips may be associated with the effects of aging, like delayed reflexes and muscle weakness. Falls may also stem from the effects of a stroke.
If you have an elderly parent(s), then the following 5 ways will enable you to prevent them from falling.
1. Talk to Them About their Potential Risk of Falling
Ask your loved one if they are concerned about falling. A lot of elderly people do realize that falling is a risk but are usually under the impression that it won’t happen to them – even if they have a history of falling. You can start by sharing the myths and misconceptions related to older adults falls and educate them about the subject better. If they are concerned about dizziness, falling, or balance, coax them into seeing a specialist who will assess their risk of falling and recommend helpful programs.
2. Get their Vision and Hearing Tested
If your loved has hearing or vision impairment, then they might not be able to steer clear of objects that make them lose their balance. Get this problem fixed without delay.
3. Get Rid of the Clutter and Any Tripping Hazards
The simplest way of preventing your parent from falling is to keep your house neat and clutter-free. Get rid of any junk, like old magazines and newspapers, especially from staircases and hallways.
In addition to that, properly monitor every hallway and room, and look for items like floorboards that stick up, slippery throw rugs, or loose carpet. Then repair, replace, or remove those hazardous items.
4. Install Handrails and Bars
These safety tools are critical for travelling up and down the stairs, coming in and out of the washroom, and getting on and off the toilet without tripping or hurting yourself. Another good tip is to get a walker or cane for your elderly parent that will allow them to walk at their own pace, and without losing their balance.
5. Light it Up
Insufficient lighting can prove to be a major falling hazard. In order to create an environment that is more suited to the elderly, make sure to install bright and adequate lighting where required, especially in narrow hallways and stairways. It is also recommended that you add night-lights in bathrooms and bedrooms so that your parent can be better guided at nighttime.
Can You Prevent Breaking your Bones from a Fall?
Though preventing a fall may not always be possible, preventing bone breakage is. Explain to your loved one how falling forwards or backwards (on their buttocks) is relatively better since falling on their side can break their hip. Grabbing on to things around can also help break a fall.