Fall prevention for seniors starts with an assessment of the home and some simple modifications.
Senior falls are all too common, and often lead to serious injury. As a caregiver for an older loved one, it’s crucial to focus on fall prevention for seniors. This includes assessing the home for fall hazards (throw rugs, cords, clutter, low furniture, etc.), as well as making sure there is sufficient lighting, appropriate use of grab bars and railings, and more.
Additionally, it’s important to know that if someone does begin to stumble, there are ways to fall more safely, which can cut down on fall-related hospital visits by as much as 40%.
Together, by implementing tactics for fall prevention for seniors and by helping older loved ones know what to do if they begin to fall, serious injuries can be thwarted. Start with these tips:
To Prevent Falls
- Assess the home:
- Be sure that all walking paths, both inside and outside of the home, are clear.
- Check to make sure grab bars beside the tub and toilet are sturdy and can hold your weight—or add them if no grab bars are in place.
- Keep all floors clean and dry.
- Make sure handrails are in place and secure alongside all staircases.
- Remove all loose rugs and replace any worn carpeting.
- Encourage balance strengthening: Exercises as simple as raising one foot slightly off the floor and balancing on the other foot for 30 seconds (and then repeating with the other foot) can be extremely helpful.
- Optimize vision. Make sure the senior routinely receives eye exams and wears eyeglasses when prescribed.
If a Fall Does Occur
- Prevent head injuries by turning your face away from the fall or tucking your chin to your chest if falling backwards.
- Bend the knees and elbows to prevent the rigidness that can lead to a bone fracture as you try to catch your fall.
- Roll through the fall, which distributes the impact of the fall over a greater portion of the body rather than concentrating it in one area.
- Aim to land on fatty tissue, like the bottom or thighs, and not on bony surfaces like the knees, hips, or elbows.
At Home Matters Caregiving, our staff is experienced in assessing the home environment for fall risks and ensuring the home is as safe and secure from falls as possible. We can also improve fall prevention for seniors by offering support during walking and transfers, helping boost safety during baths or showers, and helping a senior engage in doctor-approved exercise programs to build strength, balance, and flexibility.
Contact us at 800-298-5140 to learn more about our customized in-home care services for seniors and how we can help improve safety and comfort at home. To find out if our services are available in your area, visit our Locations page.