Elderly Fall Prevention Tips – Senior Home Care

Author

FirstLight Home Care of Colorado Springs

Posted on

Oct 26, 2022

Book/Edition

Colorado - Colorado Springs

According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. One in four older Americans experience a fall annually. At FirstLight®, our goal is to provide senior home care that makes your loved ones feel safe. Elderly fall prevention is just one way we care for your loved ones as if they were our own. Read on to learn more about fall prevention for seniors.

What Are The Dangers Of Seniors Falling?

Falls threaten seniors’ safety and independence. They are a substantial medical risk that can result in hip fractures, cuts and sometimes life-threatening head and brain injuries. Oftentimes, a fall is so scary that seniors may avoid certain activities because they are worried that they’ll fall again. So, how important is senior fall prevention?

Elderly fall prevention can greatly improve the quality of life in our seniors. The data is startling. Sixty and Me, an online community of 500,000 women over 60, provided some very helpful information that explores basic statistics related to falls in older Americans. For example, “more than one in every three falls involving older adults either requires medical assistance, such as going to a regular doctor’s appointment or a trip to the emergency room, or results in activity limitations for a day or more.” Falls are too common. We need to work together to learn about fall prevention to keep our aging family and friends healthy.

If you are a family caregiver, the following quick guide to elderly fall prevention can help keep your aging loved one safe inside the place they call home and provide you with comfort and peace of mind. 

Most Common Fall Risks For Elderly

  • Carrying excessive amounts of weight.
  • Having poor balance.
  • Wearing impractical shoes.
  • Having pathways in the home filled with clutter or objects.
  • Standing up to dress or undress.
  • Slipping in the shower or tub.
  • Lighting is not bright enough in rooms.
  • Having poor vision.
  • Being on medication with side effects such as drowsiness or dizziness.
  • Getting feet caught in wheelchair feet supports. 

Senior Fall Prevention Strategies

Although falls are not a normal part of aging, most of us lose some coordination, flexibility and balance as we age. This can increase our potential to fall. Elderly fall prevention is the best way to counteract the negative effects of a fall before it happens. Here are some ways to help prevent falls in your elderly loved one.

Remove clutter.

The simplest way to promote fall prevention is to remove clutter from floors, hallways, staircases and sidewalks around your loved one’s home. Unnecessary clutter can be a tripping hazard. Plus, your loved one is at risk of losing their balance and falling when they bend down to pick up the clutter.

Fix trip hazards.

Walk through every room of the house and identify potential trip hazards. Fix, remove, or repair items such as loose carpets, throw rugs, uneven flooring, electrical cords or unnecessary furniture, as well as things like old newspapers and magazines that may be piled up. Patterned rugs, especially, can cause a tripping hazard because they affect depth perception.

Keep necessary items within reach.

Limiting overreaching can be a great form of fall prevention. The potential of falling is minimized by not placing anything on shelves that are too high or need to be reached using a chair or ladder. In their bedroom specifically, your loved one’s bed should be a comfortable height, stable and firm enough to get in and out of easily. A telephone and lamp should be reachable on the bedside table. Eyeglasses, canes and walkers should also be easily accessible.

Keep the bathroom safe.

Buying rubberized slip-resistant mats both inside and outside of the shower or tub helps prevent slipping. A raised toilet seat makes it easier and safer for someone who is weak or has balance problems.

Install grab bars and handrails. 

Hire a handyman or have a family member install grab bars by toilets and bathtubs and handrails in stairways and hallways. Most seniors have lived in their homes for such a long time they may have never thought about making simple home modifications that could make aging in place a viable and safer option.

Install proper lighting. 

Poor lighting is another hazard that can cause falls. Install brighter light bulbs in each room for everyday use. Add night lights in bedrooms and bathrooms for better guidance at night. Light switches should be accessible at room entrances and at the beginning of any dark area. Automatic touch lights that turn on when you touch the base of the lamp are helpful for those with arthritis or painful joints. Adapters are available to convert existing lamps into touch-sensitive lamps.

Encourage shoes, even in the home. 

Preventing falls at home can be as simple as wearing sensible shoes. Socks might be more comfortable, but they can also be slippery. Encourage your loved one to wear shoes, even inside the house. Shoes should have low heels and good tread.

Make sure to keep shoelaces tied or Velcro firmly fastened. If your loved one chooses to wear slippers, they should have rubber soles and should not be worn outside.

Remember outdoor safety.

Step edges should be marked with reflective tape that is designed for outdoor use. Traction tape on stair treads will minimize the chance of falls when the stairs are wet. Using a contrasting color adhesive strip along the edge of the threshold will make it more visible. Leaves, moss, snow and ice can cause serious falls. Paths and sidewalks that are raised and cracked create a hazard.

Promote balance.

Get a shower bench or chair for someone if they are unsteady on their feet. Balance can be easily thrown off by trying to carry heavy objects and having vision obscured.

Look into medication information.

Review all medications with your loved one’s the physician or pharmacist to see if there is an increased risk for falls. Some drugs that contribute to falls are diuretics, blood pressure medicine and medications given for psychological reasons.

Review walker and wheelchair safety.

When using a walker, both hands must be free to grasp the handles on either side. Avoid carrying heavy objects, which could cause a loss of balance or overload a wheelchair. Wheelchairs should be checked periodically to make sure they are in good working condition.

Urge your older adult to slow down. 

Teaching aging adults that they are not as agile as they used to be is a helpful way to promote senior fall prevention. Many falls at home are caused by your elderly loved one moving too quickly while getting in or out of a seated position. Advise them to pause before sitting or standing to make sure they are steady before moving.

Emergency alarm systems provide peace of mind.

Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) provide emergency help at the press of a button, 24 hours a day. While not a form of fall prevention, if you are not able to have an actual person in the home with your loved one, these devices are an effective way to alert others of a fall. The response button is worn around the neck, on the belt or on the wrist of your loved one. These systems help alleviate the fear of being alone during an emergency such as a fall.

FirstLight Home Care – Senior Home Care Services

At FirstLight, our caregivers are taught to watch for possible fall hazards and to manage them before an accident happens. In addition to senior fall prevention and home safety checks, our team provides a variety of senior home care services to help you or your loved one stay safe and independent.

Other Articles You May Like

Fall Prevention: Reducing the Risk for Our Seniors

Did you know that 1 in 4 Americans over the age of 65 experience a fall each year? It's a staggering statistic, one that not only poses a health risk for our seniors, but also a challenge for their families, caregivers, and communities. Fall-related injuries can range from minor bruises to severe fractures and even fatal accidents. As such, there is an urgent need to address this issue head-on, and thats exactly what we at TruBlue are dedicated to achieving.Understanding the RisksIt's essential to recognize the factors that increase the risk of falls:1. Physical factors: Declining vision, muscle strength, and balance can increase the likelihood of falls.2. Medications: Some prescriptions can cause dizziness or dehydration, making falls more likely.3. Environmental hazards: Clutter, uneven floors, loose rugs, and poor lighting are common culprits.Prevention Starts at HomeMost falls occur at home, which means creating a safer living environment is the first line of defense:1. Clear the Clutter: Ensure hallways and rooms are free from obstacles.2. Install Handrails: Ensure that there are sturdy handrails on both sides of the stairs.3. Proper Lighting: Ensure that all areas, especially hallways and stairs, are well-lit.4. Non-slip mats: Place them in the bathroom, kitchen, and other wet areas.5. Regular Home Maintenance: This includes checking the stability of handrails, the condition of staircases, and the functioning of lights.Personal Health and Wellness While adapting the environment is vital, we also must ensure that seniors are physically fit:1. Regular Check-ups: Discuss medications with doctors to understand side effects and any potential risks associated with them.2. Exercise: Engage in activities that strengthen muscles and improve balance.3. Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can lead to dizziness.4. Vision Checks: Regular eye check-ups ensure that vision stays sharp, reducing the risk of tripping over unseen obstacles.TruBlue's Dedication At TruBlue, we believe that fall prevention is a community effort. Our dedication to this cause extends beyond just providing guidelines. Our team is actively involved in helping to make homes safer and more accommodating for our elderly population. We work hand-in-hand with families to assess potential risks and implement solutions tailored to each individuals needs.Join the "Prevent the Fall" Campaign with TruBlue One of the simplest yet most effective tools in fall prevention is the humble grab bar. It provides a sturdy handhold in places prone to slips, especially bathrooms. In our commitment to making homes safer for seniors, we are thrilled to announce our "Prevent the Fall" campaign!In September, we're offering 100 FREE grab bars to those who need them. It's our way of saying we care, and it's a tangible step towards reducing those fall statistics.Take action now. Ensure the safety of your loved ones and bring peace of mind to your family. Click here or contact us directly to nominate someone for a free grab bar and lets join hands in our mission to "Prevent the Fall" together!Remember, it's not just about installing safety equipment; it's about giving our seniors the freedom to live independently with confidence. With TruBlue by your side, lets make every home a haven of safety.*TruBlue locations are individually owned and operated.Offer valid at participating locations only. Subject to terms and conditions. No purchase necessary for entry.

7 Essential Steps to Make the Home Safe for the Elderly

Dont wait for an accident to happen. If your elderly parent is living alone in their own home, it is important to take steps in advance, to prevent accidents from happening in the first place.  It is wise to access the situation and assist in implementing safety solutions around the home.Statistics are frightening. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that on average, 1.4 million seniors 65 years of age and older are treated in hospital emergency rooms annually as a result of an accident in the home. Of that age group, the rate of injury is the highest for those 75 years of age and older.Fortunately, most accidents are preventable. By spotting and addressing these hazards early on, you can prevent potential injuries.Heres a home safety guide for seniors to help prevent falls, burns and other household accidents.7 Ways to Make the Home Safe for Your Elderly Loved OnePlace flashlights in several rooms of the house.Make sure there is flashlight available, that is easy to reach from the bed, coffee table, porch seat and any other dimly-lit area in the house where your loved one likes to spend time especially at night. With an easy-to-reach flashlight in place, the senior can safely roam around the home, even in the event of a power outage.Also, keep in mind that stairs, entryways and exteriors should be well-lit at all times. Switches should be easy to reach from doorways.Install grab bars, ramps and railings in the home as needed.Many seniors need something to hold on to in order to help maintain their balance. Grab bars are necessities, particularly in the bathroom. Use your judgement to determine which other areas of the home should be equipped with grab bars. Ramps are crucial if your loved one uses a wheelchair or walker occasionally or at all times. If they are still able to use stairs safely, make sure railings are strong enough for them to grab ahold of and use for support.Maintain a fireproof kitchen.One of the most important things you can do to fireproof a home is to keep a functioning fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Make sure your loved one knows its location and how to use it properly. Ventilation and exhaust systems should be routinely serviced and maintained. Ensure all smoke alarms are working properly and have fresh batteries inserted. Make sure all potential fire sources (candles, ashtrays, etc.) are away from flammable items, such as blankets, bedding, newspapers, etc. Develop an emergency escape plan with your loved one and go over it with them in detail. Print out a copy and post it on the refrigerator if you feel it is necessary.Stairs should be evenly constructed, clear of clutter and well-lit.An evenly built, clear and well-lit staircase with sturdy handrails makes the home safer for the elderly. Serious injuries can occur as a result of an unstable staircase. Never leave clutter on a staircase. Items like shoes or bags left on the stairs can easily lead to a fall resulting in a very serious injury. Consider installing a stair lift if stairs are becoming too difficult or dangerous for your loved one to manage.Renovate the bathroom with walk-in bathtubs or showers.Walk-in tubs (watertight tubs with doors) are built for individuals who have difficulty getting in and out of a traditional bathtub. They also help prevent slipping and come in right or left-handed configurations. This allows for seniors to bathe independently and safely. Walk-in showers are also preferred to those that have sliding shower doors.Program emergency numbers into their cell phone.Show your loved one how to make calls to these contacts quickly and easily. Helping them navigate the phone and even playing out a hypothetical scenario is helpful. In the event of an emergency, time is of the essence! Getting the most important numbers ready for quick dialing can help save a life!Rugs and carpets must be level with the ground and pathways should be clear from cords and/or wires. A homes fundamental components can possibly be dangerous for the elderly when basic safety precautions are not taken. Accidents can happen when floors are not flat and uniform, thus increasing the risk of slips and falls. Always make sure pathways are safely walk-able and consider installing slip-resistant surfaces.There are many things you can do to help keep your loved one safe. This list is just a start and provides some of the most common steps to take. If you like this guide, please share it with someone you know will benefit from it!While many seniors prefer to live independently, they may need assistance with chores, personal care, keeping up with their medications or simply would appreciate extra companionship during the day.  Elderlink Home Care can help you keep your favorite senior safe.

Tips to Help Seniors Find New Hobbies

Retirement offers a unique opportunity for seniors to enrich their lives by exploring new passions, hobbies, and interests. However, in some cases, health challenges and mobility limitations can create barriers to pursuing these activities. In these situations, the experienced in-home senior care providers at Gentle Shepherd Home Care in Colorado Springs can help.Our caregivers understand the importance of fostering engagement and independence for seniors and strive to assist them in discovering and pursuing new hobbies and passions.7 Hobbies to ConsiderBelow, we will explore 7 hobbies that seniors should consider pursuing in retirement:Consider Past PassionsMany times, past passions can provide valuable clues to what may bring joy in the present. Consider activities enjoyed in the past. Is there a hobby that was once loved but never had the time to pursue fully? Revisiting these interests can reignite passions and provide a sense of familiarity in trying something new.Explore CreativityWhen it comes to creativity, there is no such thing as an ae limit. Consider pursuing artistic pursuits such as painting, photography, pottery, writing, and more. Many communities have a senior center that offers classes tailored to seniors, providing a supportive environment to nurture creative talents. In addition to providing mental stimulation, these activities also offer a therapeutic outlet for self-expression.Physical ActivitiesPhysical activity is critical for maintaining overall health and well-being, especially as we age. Consider exploring a variety of exercises that cater to personal interests and physical capabilities such as yoga, dancing, tai chi, swimming, and more. These activities can help seniors stay active and energized. In addition, group classes and/or clubs can foster a sense of camaraderie while staying fit.Volunteer ActivitiesVolunteering is a great way to give back to the community, while also staying socially engaged. Consider volunteering with organizations that align with personal interests and values. Regardless of passions, there are plenty of organizations within the community that are looking for volunteers. Volunteering offers a variety of benefits including providing a sense of purpose and fostering meaningful connections.Embrace LearningLearning should be a lifelong pursuit. Consider exploring educational opportunities such as attending lectures, joining discussion groups, enrolling in online courses, and more. In some cases, local community colleges and universities offer special programs for seniors to expand knowledge in areas ranging from history and literature to science and technology.Connect with NatureSpending time outdoors can provide a variety of physical and mental benefits. Consider connecting with nature through activities such as gardening, birdwatching, nature photography, and more. Check with the local community center to learn about nature clubs and organized outings to explore the local parks, botanical gardens, and trails with others who share the same passions.Cultivate Social ConnectionsBuilding and maintaining social connections through retirement is critical for overall well-being. Look for opportunities to connect with others who share the same passions. Join groups within the community that are tailored for seniors. In addition, consider attending community events, cultural activities, religious gatherings, and more to connect with others and forge meaningful relationships.How Gentle Shepherd Home Care Can Help Seniors Find New HobbiesThe in-home elderly care experts from Gentle Shepherd Home Care in Colorado Springs can help seniors find new hobbies. We understand that everyone is unique and take the time to get to know our clients to provide personalized support and companionship, as well as encouragement and motivation. In addition, we can help seniors research and access community programs, classes, and events that align with their interests. Contact us today to schedule your care assessment with one of our highly skilled caregivers.

Local Services By This Author

FirstLight Home Care of Colorado Springs

Non-Medical 4445 Northpark Drive, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 80907

We are a veteran owned business serving the community of Colorado Springs and it's surrounding areas with Extraordinary People who provide Exceptional Care. You, too, can benefit from the same peace of mind our customers receive, knowing youre in the safe hands of our highly trained at-home caregivers who provide their dedication, time and expertise, as well as our excellent additional services.

Firstlight Home Care

Staffing-Medical Services 4445 Northpark Drive, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 80907

At FirstLightHome Care, you get to do something that matters. Something that makes a real difference.FirstLight Home Care hires Caregivers, Home Health Aides, CNAs, Care Coordinators, Companion Care and Personal Care Assistants who have integrity, a great capacity for compassion and empathy, and who value a rewarding career. We look for individuals who can help make everyday activities easier for our clients, and who have a genuine desire to enrich the lives of others and make the world a better place!Do you love helping people? Are you a caring, compassionate, active senior, parent, student, or friend? Looking for part or full time work? If so, we want to meet you! Call us today!