Falling and sustaining a serious injury is not only frightening and painful, but it can also start a string of events that may cause your loved one to lose some of her independence. Unfortunately, falls are also quite common as people get older. Loss of balance, strength, and reaction time can all cause a simple stumble over a loose corner of a rug to lead to a hard fall resulting in broken bones or worse.
But falls aren’t inevitable. With some good lifestyle choices (such as remaining active and practicing balancing exercises) and by creating a home that is safe for your loved one, you can reduce the risk of a bad fall occurring and your loved one suffering from it.
There are lots of small home changes you can make, but let’s look at three overall tips that will help your loved one reduce the risk of falls.
- Have enough light. Dark corners and rooms are dangerous places for elderly individuals trying to maintain sure footing. In those dark areas of the floor can be loose items like a misplaced sock or shoe just waiting to trip up your loved one. Dark stairways can make it hard to see where the next step is or to misjudge how many steps there are.
- Add lighting throughout the home to keep your loved one safe. The lighting doesn’t have to be overly bright. A small nightlight in the bathroom to help them see for any middle-of-the-night visits can make sure they can find their way around safely without being blinded by turning on the overhead light.
- Remember to add outdoor lighting as well if your loved one heads outside in the evening to take the dog outside or just enjoy the stars. Those pathways should all be well-lit.
- Ask someone to help. There may be chores that are just too dangerous anymore. Your loved one may find having someone help with personal care at home such as getting in and out of the shower may give them the security they need. A personal care at home provider can give them the support they need to step in and out of the tub. Their personal care at home provider can also help them reach areas that are hard to reach and put those items in places for them to access more easily when the personal care at home provider isn’t there.
- Remember the three points of contact rule. Whenever your loved one is being active, they should strive to have three points of contact with the world around them. That means that out of their two feet and hands, at least three of the four should be able to immediately grab something for security if needed. Stairs should always have handrails and both hands/arms should be used when getting up from a squatting position (such as gardening or looking under a bed for something).
Like most accidents, falls are more likely to happen when a person isn’t aware of their surroundings or thinking about what they’re doing so building in some safeguards long before the first fall might prevent it from ever happening.
Amelia Home Care provides traditional Personal Care at Home services, along with virtual caregiving and remote patient monitoring. Our service area includes Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, and Westchester County. Call today at (929) 333-3955
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