How to Lower the Risk of Falls in Seniors

By Sue Arsenault, 9:00 am on September 14, 2017
Lowering Risk of Falls in Seniors in Portland, OR

Slipping and falling at any age can be unpleasant, but it is particularly damaging for seniors because aging bodies have a difficult time healing joint damage. Fortunately, there are several ways older adults can reduce the risk of falls and prevent accidents and injuries.  

Visit a Physical Therapist

Accident prevention does not simply rely on removing obstacles that could make a senior trip. Your loved one can prevent tripping and falling by increasing his or her mobility and strength. A professional therapist can assess your loved one’s gait and suggest exercises and stretches to increase balance, coordination, and strength. The therapist can also recommend walkers, canes, corrective footwear, and other mobility aids that further lower accident risks.

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care. Portland families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.

Make the Home a Safer Place

Since seniors stay indoors most of the time, they are most likely to fall at home. Walk through your loved one’s house to look for tripping hazards and find ways to overcome them. Remove stacks of clutter, arrange electronics so cords do not stretch across floors, and move furniture to create open walkways. To prevent falls caused by poor visibility, you may need to install better lighting and give your loved one a lamp that can be turned on from bed.

Encourage the Use of Vision and Hearing Aids If Needed

Many falls are caused by poor eyesight and hearing. When a senior is unable to see, he or she may not notice tripping hazards like uneven floors or clutter. Bad hearing can also cause accidents because seniors may not hear verbal warnings about objects in their way. Make sure your loved one gets regular checkups, and ensure he or she has the correct type of eyeglasses and hearing aids.

Install Railings in the Bathroom

Wet, slippery surfaces in the bathroom could lead to accidents. Even after putting nonslip stickers on the tub, seniors are still at risk of falls when they try to move between seated and standing positions. You can easily install bars next to the toilet and in the tub or shower. Make sure to place them in areas that actually get used.

If you need a break from your caregiving duties to de-clutter your loved one’s home or tend to other important tasks, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Portland respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.

Learn More About Medication Side Effects

Common side effects for medications include balance issues and dizziness. Talk to your loved one’s doctor about prescribing an alternative medication that is less likely to cause falls. Your loved one should be cautious about taking over-the-counter medications with sleep aids because they can also cause dizziness. If your loved one takes a medication that can cause balancing difficulties, encourage him or her to take it at a time when he or she will be lying down for a while.

Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Portland seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. Whether your loved one needs occasional help at home or comprehensive 24-hour care, call Home Care Assistance at (207) 835-4849.