For older adults, falls are a common problem. In fact, about one in three of adults aged 65 or older fall during the year. Falls can lead to serious injuries and even disability. Because falling can be so dangerous for seniors, some older adults let fear of falling keep them from being active and doing the things they enjoy. However, if your aging relative has risk factors for falling, home care can assist them to remain safe while still being active.
Risk Factors for Falling
There are several things that can increase the likelihood that your aging relative will fall. Some things that can lead to falls are:
Weakness in the lower part of the body.
- Vitamin D deficiency.
- Balance problems.
- Medications that cause dizziness or sleepiness.
- Safety hazards in and around the house, such as clutter, missing handrails, or uneven walkways.
- Low blood pressure.
- Problems with shoes.
- Poor lighting.
- Vision problems.
How Home Care Can Prevent Falls
The good news is that home care can help with most problems that can lead to falls. Some of the ways that home care can help keep your older family member from falling are:
Removing Clutter: Sometimes older adults have a hard time keeping their homes tidy. Home care providers can help by organizing the house, putting away items that are left lying around. Home care providers can remove things from walkways that could cause the older adult to trip, like loose rugs or furniture that might get in the way.
Exercise: Exercising regularly can improve muscle strength and balance. A home care provider can encourage the senior to exercise by going for walks with them or driving them to exercise classes or facilities. Because fear of falling may keep a senior from exercising, just having a home care provider present may ease that fear.
Walking Assistance: Home care providers can offer support when your aging relative walks by holding their arm and walking with them. This can be especially important when they first stand up as sometimes blood pressure drops upon standing, which can cause dizziness. It can also be helpful on stairways.
Better Lighting: Dim lighting can make it harder for older adults to see things they might trip over. Home care providers can make sure the house is well lit by turning on lights. The can also change burned out lightbulbs that might go unchanged because they are difficult for the senior to reach safely.
Proper Shoes: In general, seniors should avoid wearing shoes that make their feet hurt or that interfere with balance or gait. A home care provider can help them to pick the right shoes that are comfortable, protect the feet, and prevent tripping.
If your aging relative is staying at home and becoming less active, talk to them about falling. You may find that a fear of falling is preventing them from fully enjoying life. In addition to hiring a home care provider to assist them, you may want to have a doctor evaluate their fall risk.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Rochester NY, contact the caring staff at Caring Hearts of Rochester today! Serving Rochester, Pittsford, Greece, Webster, Canandaigua, Fairport, Perinton, Penfield, Brighton, Henrietta and surrounding communities. Call 585-245-0134.