As we grow older we get injured more easily, and our bodies take longer to heal. Everybody falls, but younger people tend to bounce back pretty quickly, whereas a seemingly innocuous fall can land a senior in hospital.
The majority of falls that lead to serious injury (or death) happen in homes, with a smaller percent in aged care facilities. A serious injury for a younger person, means a hospital stay until they’re healed. For a senior, it can force them to change where—and how—they live.
How to help prevent senior falls in the home
The news isn’t all doom and gloom. There are quite a few things you can do to help prevent falls, and minimise falls when they do happen. It’s important to know the risk factors and what precautions can be taken.
10 tips for reducing the risk of falling
The following are just some tips to prevent your loved from falling. They include:
1. Regular exercise to prevent muscles from weakening and bones from becoming stiff. Certain types of tai chi are ideal for this, as it doesn’t over-stress or over-strain the body.
2. Wear flat, wide-heeled shoes that fit well, are comfortable and have rubber soles for good grip.
3. Don’t walk around in socks, wear comfortable, well-fitted slippers.
4. Always make sure there is adequate lighting.
5. Install a grabbing rail in strategic places like in the bathroom and toilet.
6. Remove as many trip hazards as possible—things like frayed carpet, mats, or loose rugs.
7. If you need a walking aid—always use it.
8. Make sure your hallways, doorways and any other pathways are clean, clear and safe.
9. To see the edge of steps better, mark them with high-vis tape or something similar so you don’t have to guess where the next (or last) step is.
10. Eat a balanced, healthy diet and drink plenty of fluids—this is good for your body and your immune system.
Modifying the home for today
Getting old is not a bad thing. And people really should not be ashamed of it. One thing that stops seniors from asking for the help they need is embarrassment. They think if they admit they need help, they’ll be shipped off to an aged care facility.
But with so many services and DIY options, aging in place has never been easier. You can have grab and shower rails installed to help get in and out of the shower or bath. Ramps and mobility aids make getting around easier than ever—and you can even have emergency alarms installed in the home for extra peace of mind.
Aging in place
Seniors should feel safe in their own home, and if they want to age in place, there are so many things they—and you—can do to help them feel safe and secure in their own home.
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