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.