One of the biggest risks to seniors is associated with them falling. As people age, they start to lose their stability and balance and this makes falling easier. Since bones become more brittle with age, even a small fall can lead to major issues, including broken bones. According to the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, in the United States, there are currently 12 million people who receive home care services. If you’re one of these home caregivers, you may wonder what steps you can take to help reduce the risk of falls for seniors in your care. Here are some ways to help prevent falls.
1. Complete Strength and Balancing Exercises
As seniors age, they lose muscle mass, their reflexes become slower, and their balance can negatively be affected. All of this increases the chances of an elderly individual falling. One of the best ways to reduce the risk of falls is to help them complete strength and balancing exercises daily.
2. Stand Up Slowly to Prevent Dizziness
If you sit up or stand up too quickly after laying or sitting for a prolonged period of time, you naturally feel dizzy. In seniors, this dizzy feeling can be disorienting and can lead to them falling due to their balance issues. To reduce their risks, ensure they take their time sitting or standing after being inactive for a prolonged period of time.
3. Use Mobility Aids
One of the best ways that home caregivers can reduce the risk of falls for seniors is to ensure seniors use mobility aids, such as canes and walkers. This helps them to remain stable and drastically reduces the risk of an accident.
4. Take Steps to Make Their Home Safer
Lastly, look for steps you can take to make a living area safer for them. Add bars in the bathroom to help them get off the toilet or out of the shower. Ensure carpets are pulled tight so that they aren’t a tripping hazard. Don’t leave books, papers, clothes, or shoes on the floor or stairs.
The National Institute of Aging reports that every year, 25% of seniors aged 65 years or older will fall at least one time per year. These falls can lead to injuries, including strains and fractures. There are many reasons why the elderly are at higher risk of falling, including poor eyesight, loss of muscle mass, balance issues, and even the types of medication they take. While home caregivers cannot zero out the risk of falls for seniors, they can take actions to help reduce the risk and minimize the frequency of falls. If you’re looking to hire home caregivers for an elderly family member, reach out to Home Instead today to get started.