10 Tips to Ensure Fall Prevention for the Elderly
10 Fall Prevention Tips for Seniors
Did you know that every 11 seconds an older adult falls seriously injuring themselves?
Falls are something that many people fear as they age. It is true that falls can potentially be very dangerous, right? This is the number one cause of injury in the elderly; which is why fall prevention in elderly people is so important to consider. So, continue reading this article!
Falling can happen at any time and under various circumstances; it occurs most commonly when walking or climbing stairs.
As we age, it becomes increasingly important to learn more about fall prevention in the elderly. Seniors are the group most likely to have a fall-related injury; about half of those injuries result in a hospital stay. We do not want that.
We know that falls can happen to anyone, and they happen for a variety of reasons. There are a number of things that you can do to help prevent falls from happening in your home. Be sure to complete reading this article that was written with easy to implement fall prevention tips.
Risk factors for falls in the elderly
Aging is a major risk factor for falls because of age-related declines in sensory function, muscle strength, and flexibility. Other factors include poor eyesight, taking too many medications, and chronic diseases such as arthritis. As well as problems with mobility, body mechanics, or equilibrium.
Some seniors who have a history of falls may be hesitant to seek help, even if they are having difficulties. This is a problem since people with a past history of falls are at greater risk for future falls; this is due to fear of falling, which can lead people to limit their activities or rely on others for assistance.
Other risk factors include: – Medication side effects such as dizziness and drowsiness (more than 4 prescription medications) – Heart disease and high blood pressure – Urinary or bowel incontinence – Use of glasses with the wrong prescription – Loss of cognitive function due to Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia.
Now, learn Insignia Senior Living’s recommendations to avoid falls in older adults!
Tips to prevent falls and fractures in the elderly
Many seniors are at risk of falling, but simple steps can be taken to reduce the likelihood of falls. The following are ten tips to promote fall prevention for the elderly every senior should know.
#1 Moving around!
Keeping active by exercising is one of the best ways to prevent falls. Whether it be everyday activities like cooking or going out for a walk or more strenuous activities like jogging or dancing. Staying active will make a difference.
#2 Eating well
A balanced diet helps maintain a healthy weight and ensures that the body is getting proper nutrients.
#3 Staying hydrated
Similar to eating well, drinking enough water will help keep seniors’ bones strong and muscles relaxed.
#4 Keeping the bones strong
Taking calcium and vitamin D supplements is an easy way to keep the bones healthy.
#5 Managing medicine well
It is important for the elderly to take medication as prescribed, but also to inform the doctor of any other supplements it may be taking. Oftentimes, these can interact negatively with prescription drugs.
#6 Standing up slowly
Getting up and down from seats can be a common source of fall injuries. Seniors should stand up slowly, as rushing can cause them to lose balance quickly.
#7 Having vision and hearing checked regularly
Seniors are most at risk for falls because they are most prone to diseases that cause blindness or poor vision, such as glaucoma or macular degeneration. Older adults need to get their eyes checked regularly and wear prescription glasses if they are needed.
Also, as we age we tend to lose our sense of hearing as well as visual acuity, so protecting against this loss is important as well.
#8 Wearing the right shoes (non-slip shoes)
Having the right shoes, such as rubber-soled flats, can help prevent falls. Making sure that seniors’ shoes fit well and are comfortable can also help maintain good footing.
#9 Ensuring good lighting in the living space
Poor lighting can lead to tripping and falling. You can walk around your house with a flashlight at night, looking for dark spots that could be hazardous for your senior when walking through them.
Also, many falls happen in the bathroom, so put nightlights in it, and consider installing a brighter light fixture.
#10 Using assisted devices
If seniors have a hard time getting around on their own, there are assisted devices out there that can help move from place to place without putting them at risk for injuries. Grab bars by the toilet and bathtub as well as raised toilet seats can keep the older adults steady when standing up or sitting down. The elderly should also consider a cane, walker, or wheelchair as a way to keep them safe.
How to avoid falls downstairs
– Keeping eyes on the stairs: The key is in watching where your senior is going when climbing or descending the stairs, which means that should look down while taking the steps.
– Using the handrail: If seniors have a hard time keeping their balance when using the stairs, they have to hold onto an existing handrail.
– Fixing loose rugs and runners on the stairs: If there are any loose rugs or runners on your house’s stairs, remove them to ensure that your elder won’t slip while using the steps.
What to do if your senior falls
Regardless of how many tips you implement to ensure fall prevention in elderly people, there is always the possibility that they may still fall. If this happens, be sure to follow these steps:
Help them up slowly
If they feel pain, they need to resist the urge to get up quickly and put more stress on their body. Instead, help them to slowly lower themselves down to a sitting position and then to stand back up slowly.
Let them Rest
Even if seniors feel okay after a fall, they must not attempt to go about their day as normal. A good choice would be to take it easy for a while and let their body recover.
Consult a doctor
If your senior has fallen and you believe that his injury is serious, such as if he is unable to rise from the ground or feel numbness in an area of his body, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
Additionally, if the fall led to broken bones, bleeding injuries, or head trauma, it is crucial to see a doctor immediately.
Do not attempt to move an injured limb
If your senior has fallen and broken a bone or tore a ligament, do not attempt to move the affected arm/leg/shoulder. Moving this area can cause further injury and should only be done by medical professionals.
Make sure they are not cold
Seniors that fall often experience a fall-related injury as a result of having an underlying health condition such as hypothermia, malnutrition, dehydration, etc. Be sure to monitor your loved one’s body temperature, and stay hydrated and fed.
Prevent muscle soreness after the fall
If older adults are recovering from a fall injury, it is important to implement strategies that will help them prevent muscle soreness after the fall. Take hot baths, use heating pads on their affected areas, and stretch out their muscles gently until they feel less stiff.
We appreciate you have entered our writing this far! You just read about tips to prevent falls, and the steps you need to follow in case of falling. So, what about knowing how to make a home fall-proof?
How to make your home fall-proof
Make some simple changes to make your home a safer place and to reduce the risk of falls. Here are some tips that can help you create fall prevention in elderly people checklist.
Have proper lighting
Light switches should be placed in easy to access locations so they can turn on/off easily at night hours.
Eliminate tripping hazards
Avoid clutter. Store your things in open containers with wide enough openings to spot items easily. Trim back any shrubbery or vines on the exterior of your home so seniors do not have to worry about anything hitting them when making their way outside.
Install grab bars
These are simple, inexpensive items you can install in the bathroom so seniors have something to hold onto while taking a shower.
These are even more essential on stairs. Stairs should never be unguarded, railings must be sturdy and secure, and generally, there should always be at least one handrail that is easy to grab onto.
Make sure your cabinets are secure
Seniors should never have to worry about anything falling out when they are looking for something. Be sure to secure cabinets and drawers with safety catches.
Add non-slip mats onto your shower floor
The bathroom is one of the most common places where seniors fall, so it is essential that this room be safe. Showers can be slippery so invest in a good mat that will not slip when stepped on.
In conclusion, when someone is getting older, the risk for falls greatly increases as well as the risks associated with those falls. However, there are many simple things that you can do to prevent your loved ones from injuring themselves by taking the right precautions.
By following the 10 tips listed above plus all the other suggestions, you can greatly reduce their chances of falling while also being able to maintain their independence and quality of life.
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(2019, October 4). Fall prevention: Simple tips to prevent falls. Retrieved November 10, 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/healthy-aging/in-depth/fall-prevention/art-20047358
NIA. (2017, March 15). Prevent Falls and Fractures. Retrieved November 11, 2021, from https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/prevent-falls-and-fractures
A.U (2020, December 15). Avoiding a fall. Retrieved November 11, 2021, from https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/health-wellbeing/exercise/falls-prevention/