According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in three adults over the age of 64 fall every year. With falls being the leading cause of injury among older adults, helping your loved one avoid this common mishap that can lead to serious injury is a great service to them.
Strong and Flexible
Helping your loved one remain strong and flexible as they age reduces the risk of falls as well as the potential for chronic crippling conditions. The CDC recommends improving strength, flexibility and balance with exercise programs such as Tai Chi, a Matter of Balance, or EnhanceFitness programs. EnhanceFitness is offered at 450 sites nationwide. Tai Chi is growing in popularity among seniors and can usually be found at the local senior community center or YMCA.
If your loved one has limited their activity due to their concern about falling, have them work with a physical therapist in the initial stages in order to regain their confidence. For those with aching joints or limited mobility, consider activities that take the pressure off of the joints such as water aerobics or swimming.
Creating a Safe Environment
Access their home environment and make the necessary changes to ensure that it is as fall-proof as possible. These include:
- Remove slipping hazards such as throw rugs. Remove wax from floors.
- Remove or move tripping hazards such as wires that cross pathways, furniture that creates obstacles, clutter and uneven flooring.
- Ensure that lighting is more than adequate. Consider installing motion sensor lighting. Make sure that both their bedroom and bathroom have nightlights. All lamps should have lampshades to reduce glare.
- Install grab bars in appropriate places such as in the shower and by the toilet. Make sure that the tub and outside the tub have non-skid mats.
- Stairs can be a common place of injury. Ensure that both sides have railings and consider placing colored tape on the edge in order to promote contrast and better awareness.
Medications and Chronic Illness
The side-effects of several medications include dizziness. Take a list of their current ones to their pharmacist to see if any should be a cause for concern. Illness and chronic pain can result in dizziness and loss of balance. Consider a mobility aid such as a walker or cane to help your loved one navigate through their house. If using a walker, ensure all pathways are wide enough to fit through.
Elder Care Provider
The best defense is a good offense, and nothing beats an extra set of eyes and hands to care for your parent when you can’t be there. Consider obtaining the services of an elder care provider who can assist with the daily activities of living as well as provide transportation, support and that all-important aspect of a well-balanced life—companionship.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Crawfordville, FL, please call the caring staff at Hopewell In-Home Senior Care today at 850-386-5552. Providing Senior Care Services in North Florida.