How To Prevent Falls in Elderly People in Your Home

If you have an elderly family member or friend residing in your home, you’ll have to be very careful to prevent them from falling because falls are the main cause of injuries in seniors. They can lead to hip fractures, cuts, head injury and sometimes even death.

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Falls are very common in elderly people, thousands of older people fall every year. The worrisome part is that most of the falls happen in homes.

There are several reasons why older people are more likely to fall. Osteoporosis, poor vision, medication side effects, reduced muscle strength and balance problems are some of these reasons.

If you have an elderly family member or friend residing in your home, you’ll have to be very careful to prevent them from falling because falls are the main cause of injuries in seniors. They can lead to hip fractures, cuts, head injury and sometimes even death.

So the question that may come to your mind is:

Are there practical ways I could minimize the risk of falling in my home?

Well, the answer is yes, and this is what I’ll be sharing with you in this article. We will explore several strategies you can use to ensure the older people in your home are safe from falls and sometimes an unnecessary injury.

Let’s go straight into these strategies.

Strategies To Ensure Your Home Is Fall-Proof

1. Watch their medications

It’s unlikely to find an elderly person without a set of medications they are taking to support their health. In my personal experience, they usually have a plastic bag containing several meds, sometimes you wonder if they are all recent prescriptions. But the point is that you have to take time to vet these drugs, to be sure they were all prescribed by the same physician, and to be sure of their side effects.

Why is this important?

Some medications have drowsiness and loss of balance as a possible side-effect, so if an older person is taking them, they may be more likely to fall. Examples of these kinds of medications are some antidepressants and painkillers.

The bottom line is that you have to be vigilant about the drugs they are taking and ensure they visit their physician regularly to discuss these medications.

2. Let them wear the right shoes

Generally, older people should avoid wearing plain socks when moving around the home. It could make them slip and fall. Also, they need to avoid high-heeled shoes as much as possible. What is recommended is low-heeled non-slip shoes as often as they can when moving around in the house, this footwear has grips that keep them more balanced when walking across different floor surfaces.

3. Regular eye check up

Another tip is to ensure they have regular visits to the eye doctor and keep their appointments. Many times, falls can be linked to worsening vision, so the ophthalmologist should be able to identify any vision problems and proffer solutions in the form of medications or spectacles.

If one’s vision is great, the person will be able to see potential trip hazards and avoid them.

4. Increase Lighting

This is closely related to our previous point. The more lit up a place is, the more likely an older is to see obstacles or cords and avoid them. You should pay special attention to walkways, sitting rooms, and bathrooms. For the rooms, you can ensure there is a lamp beside their beds, so they can easily get some light if they want to get up to ease themselves.

5. Install fall-preventing devices

Sometimes, you’ll need to set up extra safety devices in your home, like ensuring there are grab bars in the toilets and bathrooms, handrails on the walkways or staircase, non slip mats for the toilets, bathrooms, and steps, placing a shower chair in the bathroom and  installing a stair lift so that older people don’t need to climb any steps.

6. Remove Potential Fall Hazards

You should keep away the thing that can trip older adults easily like cords, boxes, newspapers, loose carpet threads and magazine racks. You should also be quick to clean the floors when water or other liquid spills on it.

Conclusion

Falls in elderly people can be very dangerous and potentially fatal, and many times this happens in homes. You should make your home safer for them by adjusting things to make falls less likely. You should also remember to ensure they meet up with their medical appointments and eye check-up. These strategies should help you minimize in-house falls significantly.

Do you have older adults living with you? What strategies are you currently using, or which one will you try to adopt soon? Let us know by leaving a comment.

Guest post by Dr. Charles-Davies of 25 Doctors.

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