One in four Older Americans experience a fall every year, and the consequences are
often devastating. Hip fractures, broken bones and head injuries, all common
results, contribute to falls being the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries in
adults aged 65 and older. Even without a major injury, falls can cause seniors to
become fearful or depressed, and inhibit them from living active, independent lives.
The good news is that most falls are preventable. Aging parents, grandparents, and
other elder loved ones can benefit on many levels when adult family members and
friends help them alleviate falling risks. In our blog, we want to share five ways to
help avoid senior falls this National Falls Prevention Month.
1. Explore their current health condition.
Talk to an aging parents or senior loved ones about their health. Are they
experiencing any problems? With compassion, explore any concerns and consider
notifying their doctor. One telltale warning sign can be when their health begins to
affect the ability to manage daily activities.
2. Vision check-up.
It’s no secret that eyesight declines with age. Poor vision, however, is also a major
contributing factor to falling. Make sure an elder parent has had a recent eye exam
and is wearing their appropriate prescription.
3. Perform a home-safety assessment.
There are many ways to make a senior adult’s home safer. Removing throw rugs
and clutter, increasing lighting, and installing safety devices such as bathroom grab
bars are all effective safeguards. Overall, home-safety precautions can be
performed informally, or in consultation with an occupational therapist.
4. Discuss medications.
Talk about whether an aging parent is managing his or her prescription medicines as
required, and if he or she is experiencing any adverse side effects. Dizziness,
dehydration and drowsiness are common reactions that can contribute to falling. Do
not wait to talk to a doctor or pharmacist about possible alternatives.
5. Staying vigilant.
It’s critical for adult children to remain vigilant. If an aging parent is bumping into
furniture or displaying imbalance, then they may need family support to pursue
advice from a doctor and explore solutions.
These are just five tips to help aging loved ones avoid falling. If you need additional
advice or are ready to begin planning to protect those you love, do not hesitate
to contact our office.