Falling is a very serious risk for elderly adults. Each year throughout the United States there are more than 29 million falls involving older adults over the age of 64. Many of these falls result in trips to the emergency room, extended hospitalizations, and serious injuries that can have lasting negative effects on the senior.
As a family caregiver, one of the most important things that you can do for your parent to help preserve their health and well-being is to take steps to reduce their risk of falling. While this is something that you can do no matter where they are or what they are doing, starting with making meaningful modifications to their surroundings at home can create a safer environment and dramatically reduce the risk.
Some meaningful modification to your parents living area that you can make to help reduce their fall risk include:
- Make sure that all floor coverings are in good condition and are not loose. Loose rugs, carpets, or flooring boards can cause tripping or slipping.
- In sure that there are no wires or cords crossing areas where your parent frequently walks.
- Arrange the furniture in a way that provides plenty of space for your parent to walk around the area while still providing points of stability and support.
- Remove any furniture that is on wheels or that is lightweight and could fall if your parents should grab it to use for balance.
- Remove any decorative items or other clutter on the floor that your parent could run into or trip over while navigating the space.
- Install additional lighting to eliminate shadows and other potentially distracting or confusing elements so your parent can move around the space confidently at all times of day.
- Avoid keeping any items that your parent uses frequently on high shelves or another area that would require them to reach or climb to access them.
If your parent has been struggling with a health challenge or limitation that has increased their care needs, your own schedule or ability to care for them has changed, or you simply feel that they would benefit from more diversified care, now may be the ideal time for you to consider home care for them. An in-home senior home care services provider can be a valuable source of support for both you and your parent, supplementing the care that you already give them, and helping them to pursue a lifestyle that is more independent and fulfilling as they age in place. These care services can include safe and reliable transportation, assistance with activities of daily living, mobility support, meal preparation, help with sensitive care tasks such as bathing and toileting, companionship, medication reminders, and more.