When an elderly person sustains an injury from a slip and fall accident, it can be a life-changing event that transforms them from an independent senior to a dependent person who needs a family caregiver and perhaps a home care assistant. To avoid slip and fall accidents, family caregivers and seniors need to make positive changes to their health and their environment.
One out of every four elderly Americans experience a slip and fall accident each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They are also the number one cause of non-fatal as well as fatal injuries for aging adults in the country. Family caregivers and their elderly loved ones do not have to wait around for a fall to happen before acting, however. There are many things that can be done to help an elderly adult reduce the risks of a slip and fall accident.
Here are some things that family caregivers can do today to make seniors less likely to suffer from a slip and fall accident at home.
- Promote exercise to improve a senior’s coordination, flexibility, and balance.
- Engage in physical therapy to strengthen weakened muscles.
- Investigate whether senior medications list dizziness as a side effect.
- Correct poor vision with corrective lenses and annual checkups.
- Increase lighting in dimly lit parts of the house, especially near stairs.
- Treat chronic conditions like arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, and vertigo.
- Maintain walkways so they are clutter-free.
- Move furniture that protrudes out into household traffic lanes.
- Learn the proper techniques to walk with a cane or walker.
- Wear footwear that fits properly and isn’t a loose style, like a slipper.
- Install grab bars along stairs, tub, shower and toilet areas.
- Make sure the floors are properly cleaned and not left too slippery or sticky.
It’s important that the elderly adult realizes how much their life can change after a serious fall. If they have any concerns about dizziness, balance, medication, weakness, tremors, or other health issues, then falling is a real possibility. Family caregivers should facilitate a conversation with the senior adult’s doctor. Medical experts work with elderly patients to assess the risk of falling and then they can suggest treatment programs and other elderly services and devices that will help.
The most important thing that family caregivers can do, however, is to hold several conversations with their aging relative about slip and fall accidents. Family members, senior care aides, doctors, friends, and anyone else involved in elderly care needs to be on the same page when it comes to preventing a situation where the elderly adult falls and huts themselves. It only takes a few simple steps to get things headed in the right direction.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring caregiver services in Anderson, SC, contact Heart of the Carolinas Home Care at 864-991-3116. Providing Home Care Services in Greenville, Simpsonville, Greer, Anderson, Spartanburg, Mauldin, Seneca, Laurens, Charleston, Columbia and the surrounding areas.