The Three A’s of Senior Fall Prevention

A third of older adults 65 and over sustain an injury as a result of a fall. Even after surgery, injuries can require acute care at a nursing facility, which depending upon the extent of the injury or the overall medical wellness of the patient can last for up to a year. Of those injured, many perish within one year of the accident. Though many brush off fall prevention as common sense stuff, it truly can be life or death for an aging loved one. Here are three tips for maintaining a fall-free environment for the older adult in your life.

1. Accessibility

As we age, our bodies don’t work as well as they once did. At times, aging adults don’t want to admit that they cannot do things they once could, which could result in them taking unnecessary risks. Basic changes that can be made around the home include: no throw rugs, cords taped up against the wall or tucked behind furniture, clutter picked up, good lighting and furniture arranged so that there are no obstacles. For elders who may already be dealing with more substantial physical limitations, adaptive devices may be needed such as a shower seat, a higher toilet, grab bars or ramps.

2. Activity

With the fear of falls comes the fear of activity. Many seniors avoid activity to avoid the possibility of injury. This, though, can have the opposite effect. Exercise, particularly strengthening exercises, not only reduces the risk of falling (due to increased strength and mobility), but if a fall were to occur, the risk of injury is reduced. With the guidance of a doctor, physical therapist, or local community center fitness program, learn some simple and effective strengthening exercises that will not only diminish the possibility of falls, but boost overall energy and mood. Always get the permission of your doctor before starting any exercise program.

3. Accountability

Older adults must also be accountable that they are doing all that they can to prevent fall injuries. This includes regular doctor visits, including bone density tests. It osteoporosis is a possible concern; get it addressed so that medications that help can be administered. Also, check in on your loved one often to be sure that the home continues to be clutter and obstacle free. If you are unable to do so personally, enlist the help of neighbors, friends or professionals to check in and determine that the environment continues to be in order.

Preventing falls is common sense and perfectly doable. Don’t put off addressing the home safety of a loved one until a crisis occurs. Be proactive early on to ensure independence as long as possible.

To learn about using our free Care Advisor service for senior home care, and access our Provider Network of licensed, insured agencies, visit us at Advocare. No fee or contract is necessary to use the services of our Care Advisor. A Certified Senior Advisor will discuss your care needs, develop a profile of the best candidate, and schedule interviews with potential caregivers from multiple agencies. Our unique model allows the agencies to compete for your business and helps you choose the best caregiver for the best price.

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