Falling can result in serious injuries, such as hip fractures and head trauma, that could limit your elderly loved one’s quality of life. Most falls are preventable, yet families may not know what to do until it’s too late. Being proactive about minimizing fall risks by using these strategies can help your loved one maintain independence and mobility.
1. Fall-Proof the Bathroom
Most senior falls happen in what professional caregivers refer to as “wet areas,” and the bathroom is one of the most slippery areas in a house. Take a look at your loved one’s bathroom to identify common fall hazards, such as slippery tile without an appropriate mat. Then correct the issues. Putting grab bars in the shower, a skid-resistant mat on the floor, and non-skid surfacing or stickers in the tub are all easy ways to create a more fall-proof place for your loved one to bathe.
Helping your loved one with toileting, bathing, and reducing his or her risk of falls in the bathroom can be a challenging task. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Oklahoma City respite care experts at Lifestar Home Care are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.
2. Keep the House Well Lit
Tripping over a porch step in the dark or stumbling over a pet toy as your loved one walks through a hallway at night could lead to a fall. Adding lighting to areas that are currently too dark can help your loved one see obstacles in his or her path. Motion-sensitive lights are the best kind to use for this purpose, since they prevent your loved one from having to stumble around in the dark to find the switch.
3. Encourage Wearing Proper Shoes
Many seniors begin to wear slippers or plain socks for comfort or to avoid having to bend over to tie their shoes when it’s painful. Slippery soles increase the risk of falls, and you can find many comfortable types of footwear that are safer for your loved one. Ideally, your parent should be wearing shoes with non-skid soles every day. If your loved one refuses, ask him or her to at least wear grippy socks or shoes with better tread on the soles.
4. Create Clear Pathways
Seniors often accumulate large amounts of furniture and other forms of clutter over the years that can limit their ability to move through their homes safely. Consider asking your loved one if he or she needs help downsizing or removing items that jut out into the walkways. Your loved one might also benefit from having someone drop in periodically to help out with housekeeping.
Hiring a professional caregiver is one of the many ways you can reduce your loved one’s risk of falls. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional senior care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.
5. Provide Assistance during High-Risk Times
Your loved one might also be at higher risk for falling if he or she tends to be groggy when getting out of bed late at night or if a new medication is known for causing drowsiness. Going out in public may also expose your loved one to fall risks your family can’t control, such as the need to step over a curb. Providing your loved one with companionship care or overnight visits from a caregiver is an effective way to prevent falls during those times when you can’t be there.
An increased risk of falls is one of the many challenges seniors may have to face. Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional elder care Oklahoma City seniors can trust and rely on. If your loved one needs professional care, Lifestar Home Care is here to help. To hire a compassionate, dedicated caregiver, call us at 405.288.9275 today.