Each year millions of older adults suffer falls that can cause severe injuries. Experiencing one of these falls can dramatically increase your parent’s risk of immobility, health complications and illnesses, inactivity, and even death. Helping your parent to avoid these falls can help your parent to stay safer and healthier, and continue to live the lifestyle that they desire and deserve throughout their later years.
Some of the changes that you can make in your parent’s home to decrease their fall risk include:
Ensure handrails are stable. Handrails are extremely important for helping your loved one maintain balance and avoid falls. These are only effective, however, if they are actually stable. If handrails are loose, improperly installed, or not appropriate for the application that you have chosen for them, they can dramatically increase the chances that your parent will fall, and will suffer serious injuries. Check all handrails inside and out of your parent’s home are strong and secure so that if your parent grabs onto or leans on them, they will be able to support them.
Remove slick conditions.Smooth flooring is attractive and easy to clean, but it can also be extremely slippery. Go through your parent’s home and find as many sources of slick conditions as possible. This can include marble or tile flooring in the entryway or kitchen, tile flooring in the bathroom, or the bathtub. Once you have identified the conditions, take steps to reduce or remove them. If changing the floor is not an option, consider adding rubberized mats that provide texture and grip.
Mark changes in elevation. Even a small change in elevation, such as a threshold, can put a senior at risk of a fall. Low vision, balance and mobility problems, and even cognitive issues can cause your parent to trip or slip over these elevations. Larger elevations such as steps or sunken floors can also be dangerous if your parent does not remember that they are there or miscalculates where they may be. Mark these changes so that they are more evident. For example, use small pieces of colored tape to make steps that are the same color as the landing on both ends more evident. Mark each step so that your parent can more easily track their progress up and down the steps.
If your aging parent has been struggling with physical challenges and limitations that have increased their fall risk, or have recently experienced a fall, now is the ideal time for you to consider homecare for them. Having an in-home senior care services provider in the home with them allows your aging parent to live a lifestyle that is healthy, safe, and comfortable while also addressing their need for active, engagement, and as much independence as possible. Through a personalized approach to care and assistance, this homecare provider will help your parent to live a high quality of life as they age in place.
Belina Calderon-Nernberg is the CEO and founder of 1Heart Caregiver Services. Recently offering 1Heart franchise business opportunities to the public, Belina provided the vision, leadership, and direction that the company needed to achieve its goal of making a positive difference in the homecare industry. As her greatest accomplishment, the company is now equipped with the expertise to expand its business operations to different States in the U.S. Belina brings with her a corporate experience of 25 years, with 15 solid years of experience as CEO of an employment agency and a senior care service company in Southern California. Belina has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of St. La Salle, Philippines. She has been the recipient of several awards given to emerging leaders in business, community service, arts, and entertainment. She has also been honored as an Ambassador of Goodwill by the HiFi (Historic Filipinotown) Neighborhood Council. This title is bestowed to carefully selected Filipino-Americans who are persons of integrity who have the ability “to promote, reach out, influence and mobilize public interest and support of the ideals, values, principles, and programs of the Historic Filipinotown.