One of the main causes of senior hospitalizations is due to a fall, often in the person’s home environment.
As the natural aging process occurs, such as deteriorating eyesight, stiffening of joints or weakening muscles as well as poor balance, it can leave seniors more vulnerable to falls.
Consider your loved one’s home environment and consider the following to decease any risks.
- Remove unnecessary clutter, especially around pathways.
- If you think it would be helpful, rearrange furniture to make rooms easier to navigate.
- Get rid of any trip hazards such as unsecure mats, or rugs.
- Try to encourage your loved one to wear good soled footwear, non-slip preferably. And perhaps avoid shoes with laces, as they can come undone and create a trip hazard.
- Make sure the home, including any stairwells, are well lit and all bulbs are working correctly.
- Consider using a night-light in the bedroom or leaving a bathroom/landing light outside of the room to prevent any falls in the dark.
- Encourage your loved one to use handrails where possible.
- Minimise any distractions while they are walking to allow full focus.
- Encourage keeping one hand free when walking to allow them to grab a sturdy object to stop a potential fall.
- Allow plenty of time for tasks and activities.
Inactivity can be common in seniors and therefore often leads to the weakening of muscles and increasing falling risks. Help the person stay independent and reduce falling risk by
- Encouraging Regular Exercise: It is important that the exercises focus on increasing leg strength and improving balance, and that they get more challenging over time. For more in-depth exercise routines and tips, please see Local Homecare’s blog titled “Move Your Way to a Healthy Life”
- Have the GP review medications annual or bi-annually. Ask them to check medications for potential hazardous side effects like dizziness and drowsiness.
- Support them to have their eyesight checked every year. Ensure any issues are dealt with ASAP and any glasses updated as per required to allow maximum vision.
- Consider making homes safer by installing grab rails in bathrooms, on both sides of the stairs and by improving lighting around the home.