Walking down the lane and falling suddenly may b a laughing matter for teenagers but not for seniors. For them, falling is risky and may even prove life-threatening. You won’t believe that frequency of falls is proportional to aging and level of weakness. According to WHO, approximately 28-35 percent of people who are 65 years or more experience a fall each year. Many of these falls lead to hip fractures and traumatic brain injuries among seniors. While there may be many reasons behind this tendency to fall, some of them can be confusion, depression, foot pain, poor eyesight, and weakness. So, do you have seniors at your home, and as a family caregiver, you are worried about what to do to reduce their fall risk? Here are some fall prevention tips for seniors.
Pay attention to the bathroom
Most of the falls experienced by seniors are due to wet surfaces while stepping out of a shower. So, invest in non-slip mats and install grab bars in your bathroom. If possible, provide a shower seat as for many seniors with illness and weakness, it is not easy to maintain balance while standing under the shower. You can also consider replacing the showerhead with a hand-held nozzle to offer them more convenience.
Remodel your stairs
If you have stairs in your home, there are plenty of things that you have to change, such as the installation of railings on both sides and non-slip strips. Think about adding a bench or chair on a landing so that they can have a resting spot while moving upstairs or downstairs. Also, keep the stairs clutter-free so that there can be no tripping hazards. Nowadays, stairlifts are also becoming increasingly popular as this eliminates the need to use the stairs at all!
Remove excess furniture
This will not cost you anything but will create more free space. Push your furniture against the wall to prevent any accident. This also helps you to keep the home organized. Make sure to take care of messy wires and cables too. They usually become a major cause of a fall.
Install better lighting
It is not possible to see well in a dimly-lit room. For seniors, this means the risk of falling. So, install better lighting in your home and make the light switches accessible to seniors, including those who have mobility problems. It is better to go for automatic night lights for the bathroom, hallway, and bedroom to ensure the safety of seniors.
Encourage to stay active
While it is a wise move to get a cane or walker to a senior, you can altogether eliminate the fall risk for seniors by encouraging them to stay active. Yes, regular exercise is recommended for all. So, encourage them to go for a daily walk or to engage in an activity such as practicing yoga or stair climbing to keep their joints lubricated and their muscles strong.
Apart from the above ones, it is also necessary to talk to the senior. Many times, it happens that they believe that they will not get hurt because, in the past, falling has never caused any serious injury. You can anyway look for more ideas to reduce fall risk for seniors.