How Can I Help my Loved One Prevent Falls at Home?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year, about one out of every three adults over the age of 65 will experience a fall. Senior falls should be taken seriously, as they’re the most common reason that older adults will be admitted to the hospital for trauma, the organization reports. As a caregiver for a senior loved one, there are ways you can help prevent these dangerous falls. Here are some tips.

Fall-proofing the Home

Part of the reason that some older adults are more prone to falls is because of changes that naturally occur during the aging process. For instance, impaired vision may make it harder for older adults to see objects that could trip them. Older adults may feel less steady on their feet than they did during their younger years, particularly if they have developed arthritis or osteoporosis.

To help the senior in your life stay safe at home, it may be wise to go through his or her house room by room to clear away any obstructions or hazards, according to Colorado State University.

  • Remove all obstructions. This includes any clutter on the floor, unsecured rugs, electrical plugs and wires, or anything else that may get caught under one’s feet.
  • Install handrails. Handrails along stairwells or in the shower can go a long way to preventing falls.
  • Adjust the lighting. Brighter lighting can help seniors see items that may be in their way. Consider upping the wattage of lightbulbs around the house, and installing night lights in every room.

Promoting Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Healthy living can also keep seniors safe and on their feet. Older adults who exercise regularly will enhance their balance and flexibility. There are a number of enjoyable, healthy activities that are safe for seniors. Even taking regular walks can help older adults avoid falls. Yoga, tai chi, cycling and aerobics are other great low-impact options.

You should also speak with your loved one’s doctor about any medications that may affect his or her steadiness. Some medicines may have side affects like dizziness that could increase the risk of falling. Ask a medical professional for advice on how to best deal with such issues.

Regular checkups, including physicals and eye exams, can also help seniors lower the risk of falling.

Consider Assisted Living

If you feel overwhelmed by the measures necessary to create a safe home environment for your loved one, it may be time to consider an assisted living facility. Such communities tailor living spaces to older adults, including features that prevent falls. Additionally, there is always medical staff on hand to help assist seniors who require medical attention.