Falls among the elderly are all too common and may have serious outcomes. Taking preventative measures is key, including assessing the house for fall risks like throw rugs or other tripping hazards, insufficient lighting, and an absence of appropriate grab bars and railings. But there is a new tactic being advised now: creating a fall plan of care, which, when executed accurately, has been shown to help reduce fall-related emergency room visits by as much as 40%.
So while we absolutely do not want to plan for a loved one to fall, we can be better prepared by helping the individual take these actions:
- Remain alert – Avoid letting your brain wander and instead maintain your full concentration on your surroundings.
- Check eyesight – Regular eye tests and regularly wearing glasses if needed can make sure tripping risks are spotted and avoided.
- Practice balance – Exercises as straightforward as lifting one foot off the ground and staying balanced on the other foot for about 30 seconds will help.
If a fall does occur, understanding the way to fall more safely can reduce the possibility of injury. In particular:
- Prevent head injuries by purposely turning your face away from the fall, or tucking your chin to your chest if falling backward.
- Bend your knees and elbows to prevent the rigidity which can trigger a break to your wrist or elbow when trying to catch your fall.
- Roll through the fall, which transfers the impact associated with the fall over an increased part of the body instead of focusing it on one location.
- Try to fall on fatty tissue, such as on your thighs or bottom, rather than on more bony surfaces like hips, knees, and elbows.
Using the following proactive measures can go a long way towards avoiding a fall:
- Make sure all walking areas both inside and outside of the house are free from clutter and any potential tripping risks, such as extension cords.
- Keep flooring surfaces, especially in the bathroom and kitchen area, dry and clean.
- Install grab bars around the tub and toilet.
- Make sure handrails are positioned and secure along all stairwells.
- Replace any worn out carpeting and take away all throw rugs.
At Home Sweet Home In-Home Care, our home care team is qualified in providing recommendations to make your home environment as safe and secure from falls as possible, and we are skilled in providing ambulation assistance and supervision when needed to help make sure fall risk is diminished. We are also on hand to take part in doctor-sanctioned fitness programs to enhance balance and flexibility, resulting in improved overall health. Contact us or give us a call at 269-849-9252 to learn more about our exceptional caregivers in Paw Paw, MI and the surrounding areas, a complimentary in-home assessment, and to find out additional ways we can help!