Whether you’ve just begun on your caregiving journey with an elderly loved one or you’ve been caring for them for some time, one of the risks are sure you must have heard a considerable amount of time is the risk of falling. Every year millions of seniors over the age of 65 suffer a fall, and many end up sustaining serious injuries that negatively impact their mobility, functioning, and quality of life. 

Lack of physical activity is one of the leading causes of falls. Physical activity is one of the most vital ways to decrease the chances of falling. It helps to make one stronger and improves balance and coordination. 

Check out these 10 tips to help keep one on his/her feet and be safe from falling.

1. Remove or repair tripping hazards

At times, home fixtures can contribute to falls, which can then lead to back pain and other difficulties. Examine each room, look for loose parts like slippery rugs or dented floorboards, and then repair, remove, and replace them for effective fall prevention.

2. Use adequate lighting 

Inadequate lighting is another major difficulty. To create a house that’s more suitable for senior loved ones, install brighter light bulbs where needed, particularly in narrow halls and stairways. Adding light throughout the house can help better navigate the space and avoid dangers throughout the day and in all weather conditions that may impact available natural lighting.

3. Watch Medications 

The more medication one takes, the higher the risk of falling. Medications can include side effects such as confusion, dizziness, weakness, sleepiness, or the urgency to use the washroom. When one takes many medications, it increases the chance of side effects. Talk to the doctor or a pharmacist about any side effects that one can notice with medications.

4. Wearing Good Shoes 

Loose-fitting shoes, high heels, or backless shoes are a major risk for falls. Uncomfortable shoes shorten stride and make one more likely to trip. Always go for shoes that are non-skid, rubber-soled, and have a low heel.

5. Building Ramps  

Senior ones who use mobility aids such as walkers or wheelchairs tend to have difficulty moving throughout the house if there are level changes such as stairs. Rather than limiting their movement to one area of the house or requiring them to have someone help them get from place to place, add ramps were possible to enable them to use their mobility aids to get up and down confidently.

6. Install Grab Bars

Grab bars are simple tools that you can install throughout the house to give your senior ones more control over their mobility and the ability to navigate throughout the house. Grab bars can help senior ones maintain more independence and also help reduce some of their need for physical help. If the senior one is struggling with mobility or balance difficulty, they are likely to reach out and take hold of items along their path to get extra support and balance. Adding grab bars of the house provides support so that your senior one does not rely on objects that might not be able to handle their weight such as lightweight furniture or towel rods. Make sure that these are strong enough to handle your senior one’s weight and are installed properly to avoid serious falls.

7. Make Stairways Safe 

If you haven’t made your stairs comfortable, now is the time. Loose or uneven steps must be fixed promptly. Make sure that your steps have non-slip surfaces and proper lighting.

8. Exercise Regularly 

Increased fall risk often comes due to senior one’s physical challenges and limitations. Joint instability, muscle weakness, balance problems, and loss of range of motion all increase the chances that your senior will suffer a fall. Encourage your senior ones to stay active on a daily basis to keep the body stronger and responsive. Daily exercise that focuses on strength training, flexibility, and balance can help keep the muscles strong leading to flexible joints, ligaments, and tendons.

9. Clear the Clutter 

The simplest method for preventing falls is to keep your house neat and tidy. Remove all clutter, such as stacks of old magazines and newspapers, especially from hallways and staircases. Daily accessed items must be placed where they can be reached safely. Walkways should be clear of toys, electric cords, or any other tripping hazards.

10. Use Caution on Wet Floor 

How many people do you know who have slipped on the wet floor? Pretty much everybody has at one time. As we age, slipping on wet floors in the bathroom becomes more than a potentially embarrassing situation. Always make sure that the walkways are free of puddles. Never carry too much as this can upset the balance and make it difficult to see the path.

Falls are a major difficulty for seniors and a serious concern for those close to them. But the good news is that with some simple steps you can secure your loved one from dangerous falls and reduce your stress as a caregiver. All these outcomes are well worth timing and planning.

We at GMG Homecare are here to help. If you or a senior one is considering home health care services in Maryland, connect with us today to know more.

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