Did you know that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 36 million older adults fall each year? While the prospect of a fall might not seem that serious at first, falls directly impact the quality of life for seniors and are even life threatening in some cases. The good news is you can help your senior loved one reduce their risk of falling. Join us as we share tips on fall prevention to keep your loved one safe in their home.
5 Fall Prevention Tips
1. Get Rid of Tripping Hazards
If you’re worried about your senior loved one falling, the first step is to walk through their home. The goal is to look for and identify any fall risks that are in high-traffic areas of the home. While your loved one might be able to do this themselves, it helps to have a fresh set of eyes to spot any potential problems. To improve fall prevention, look for (and fix or remove) some of the most common tripping hazards, which include:
- Clutter that impedes major walkways in the home.
- Power cords or furniture in the middle of high-traffic areas.
- Uneven floor boards or raised pieces of carpet.
- Throw rugs in major walkways.
2. Improve Their Home Lighting
One of the leading causes of senior falls is lack of visibility in the home. After all, if your loved one has had the same lighting in their home for decades, it might become a problem once they’re retired. To make sure your loved one has adequate lighting in their home, you’ll want to focus on stairwells, hallways and in front of any doorways.
You’ll also want to make sure there’s plenty of lighting for when your loved one gets up in the middle of the night. Wall outlet plug-in nightlights are a great way to add visibility for when they go to the bathroom. These lighting accessories can also be put in high-traffic hallways for better fall prevention.
3. Add Stability in the Bathroom
No matter your age, the extra water that often builds up on the floor after taking a shower is a falling hazard. As we age, the bathroom poses more risk for potential injury. The process of sitting down and standing up on the toilet or in the shower poses a fall risk for older adults. This is part of the reason many seniors install handles and grab bars in their bathrooms. Before you install any grab bars or handles in their bathroom, map out where you’re going to place them. Doing this extra planning step before installation will help ensure they’re actually used.
4. Help Your Loved One Stay Physically Active
Out of all the fall prevention tips, helping your loved one stay physically active is definitely near the top of the list. When your loved one engages in regular physical exercise like water aerobics or going for a morning hike, it helps them build strength and balance to reduce the risk of falls. To help your loved one get on the path to increase their physical wellness, offer to do the activities with them for extra motivation. You can even look into local fitness classes that offer specific benefits for older adults. For example, a local tai chi class gives seniors the opportunity to work on their flexibility in a calming environment.
5. Make Sure They Have Regular Checkups
If you’re looking to stay on top of fall prevention for a senior loved one, make sure they keep up with regular doctors’ appointments. When an older adult’s vision or hearing starts to decline, it disrupts their ability to walk and move without falling. Do your best to ensure your loved one has a vision and hearing test from their doctor at least once a year. Going to the doctor is also an opportunity for them to talk about other ailments that may increase their fall risk, such as dizziness or arthritis pain.
Discover Better Fall Prevention in Atlanta, GA
If your loved one needs a little extra support to enjoy their retirement to the fullest, Canterbury Court can help. Our senior living community in Atlanta, GA, is dedicated to helping every resident enjoy more of what makes life great. From a variety of social events to opportunities for learning about new passions, we have everything in place for your loved one to enjoy a rewarding lifestyle, including a continuum of care in case their needs change, as well as fall prevention features throughout the community. To learn more about how our community can help your loved one thrive, contact us today.