Injuries to seniors, both fatal and not, are most frequently caused by falls. In fact, one in three adults aged 65 and over will experience a fall each year. Many fall risk factors include muscle weakness, poor balance, vision problems, and medication side effects. But some things can be done to reduce the risk of falling.
Personal Alarms Are a Must
While many falls can be prevented, some are inevitable. That’s why personal alarms are a must for seniors. Personal alarms provide peace of mind for both seniors and their caregivers. If a senior falls and cannot get up, they can press the button on their alarm, and help will be on the way.
There are many different types of personal alarms available, so it’s important to find one that’s right for your needs. Some models come with a fall detector, which can automatically alert authorities if it detects a fall. Others come with GPS tracking, so you always know where your loved one is. No matter what type of alarm you choose, make sure it’s one that your loved one will actually wear. The best alarms are those that are comfortable and easy to use.
For the elderly, it’s important to do everything you can to help them stay independent. One of the best ways to do this is by convincing them to exercise regularly and keep their muscles strong. This not only helps with overall fitness but can also help minimize fall risk.
Tai Chi is a great exercise for seniors because it involves slow, deliberate movements. It’s also relatively easy to learn, so your loved one can do it independently. There are other exercises you can also talk to your loved one about.
You can also help your loved ones minimize their fall risk by encouraging them to take good care of their posture. When standing or sitting, it’s important that they keep their head straight and not slouch. It should be level with the rest of their body.
It’s also important that your loved one’s home environment is safe. Their floors should be clutter-free, and their rugs should be secured to the floor. They should also have sturdy handrails in both their shower and their toilet. They can also use grab bars in their bathroom and bathtub.
The room should also be well-lit, and if they have a home health aide, ask them to come every day and stay with your loved one. Your loved one’s home environment should also be kept at a comfortable temperature. If they’re living alone, make sure to check in with them regularly.
Keep Their Bones Strong
Both diet and lifestyle changes can help minimize the risk of falls and fractures. Some simple changes include regular exercise, eating a balanced diet with plenty of calcium and vitamin D, and avoiding alcohol. In addition, older adults should have their vision and hearing checked regularly, as poor vision and hearing can contribute to falls.
Falls are a leading cause of fractures in the elderly, but apart from precautions like personal alarms, diet and lifestyle changes can help reduce the risk. A calcium and vitamin D diet can help keep bones strong, while regular exercise can improve balance and coordination. Avoiding alcohol and smoking can also help reduce the risk of falls.
Since elders are more likely to fall when alone, arrange to have someone with you at all times. If they must move around the house at night, use a flashlight or light to illuminate the path and encourage the elderly to use handrails or grab bars for support.