For anyone age 65 and older, falls are a particularly serious threat. Approximately one in four seniors will experience a fall, and after falling, the risk of falling again doubles. Falls in older adults often lead to emergency room visits, fractures, head injuries, and hospitalizations – not to mention the costs connected with falls: as much as $50 billion annually.
Falls are more common in seniors for a variety of reasons:
- Poor vision
- Challenges with mobility and balance
- Medication side effects
- Lower body weakness
- Foot discomfort or pain
- And more
So, what exactly can you do to help to protect the seniors you love from a dangerous fall? There are a number of actions you can take. Encourage your senior loved ones to:
- Have routine eye exams. A senior should schedule an eye exam at least annually, and more often if recommended by the eye doctor. It may also be smart to replace bifocals or progressive lenses with two pairs of glasses: one for nearsightedness and another for farsightedness.
- Improve strength and balance. There are a large variety of exercises geared towards strengthening the leg muscles and enhancing balance. DailyCaring offers a quick video with a few simple ideas to help you get started. Check with the older adult’s physician for approval, and then encourage the senior to incorporate these exercises into his/her day-to-day routine.
- Schedule a medical checkup. The primary care physician can help reduce fall risk through a routine checkup. For instance, ask the doctor to review the older adult’s medications (including OTC meds) for side effects such as dizziness or sleepiness. He or she can also assess an older adult’s particular fall risk and offer recommendations to reduce that risk. Also ask the physician about vitamin D supplements; insufficient quantities of vitamin D can deteriorate bones and lead to an enhanced danger of a fracture if a fall does occur.
- Perform a fall risk walk-through. Seemingly harmless items in the house can conceal a hidden danger for older adults. Take a walk through the senior’s house to check for throw rugs, low tables or other furniture, missing handrails along the stairways, insufficient lighting, and any clutter blocking walking paths.
- Call Anthem Home Care. Our highly skilled care staff are available to perform a fall safety assessment to look for and make recommendations for changes to reduce fall risk. We can also assist with mobility, safe bathing/showering and transfers, medication reminders, and various other services to help keep seniors safe from falls.
If an older adult does have a fall, even if it does not appear to have caused injury, contact his or her doctor for an evaluation and further guidance to prevent another fall.
For a complimentary in-home consultation, contact Anthem Home Care any time at 361-643-2323. Our Rockport senior living experts can design an individualized plan of care to manage any concerns and to make life safer and more fulfilling for seniors at home.
Whether the need is for a few hours of respite care weekly or 24-hour live-in care, Anthem Home Care is here to help enhance Rockport senior living for an older adult you love. Contact us today! For a full list of each of the communities where we provide care, please visit our Service Area page.