Falls are a serious risk for older adults, especially for those who live alone. According to the CDC, it’s estimated that 3 million elderly people are treated every year for serious injuries due to falls. Of these patients, over 800,000 are hospitalized because of their injuries, most likely due to hip and head injuries.
At Miami Valley Homecare, which provides local home care services, we’re sharing our top tips for protecting vulnerable adults who are at risk of dangerous falls.
If you have an elderly loved one in your life, hiring a home care service is one of the most important things you can do to protect their health. These services are especially helpful for older adults who live alone, or for those who aren’t ready to transition to an assisted living facility.
With home care services, a care aide can stay with your loved one on a part-time or drop-in basis to make sure they get the help they need. Whether they need help with mobility or accessing certain parts of the home, our aides will ensure your loved one is always out of harm’s way.
In addition to mobility assistance, services can include:
If your family member needs a higher level of assistance, live-in home care might be a better option. With live-in home care, our compassionate aides can watch after your loved one 24/7. In the event they do fall or have an emergency, our aides can 911 or provide transportation to the nearest hospital.
Some medications can cause dizziness or sleepiness, especially blood pressure drugs. If your older family member is currently taking any prescription or over-the-counter medications, it’s a good idea to meet with their doctor. There might be alternative medications available that don’t have side effects that can increase the risk of falling.
Additionally, you should think about adding vitamin D supplements to their daily routine. Vitamin D is instrumental in developing bone strength and improving muscle function.
Since older people are at risk of both falls and vitamin D deficiency, regular supplementation can help prevent breaks and fractures. If they’re physically able to, older people should also exercise regularly to improve their strength and balance.
There are many ways you can “fall-proof” your older loved one’s home. While this can’t completely eliminate the risk of falls, it can make the home much safer and easier to navigate for those with limited mobility.
First, remove any bulky items on the floor or dangerous cords that are trip hazards. Next, make sure the home has plenty of lighting. Feel free to add more lamps that are easily accessible, and replace old light bulbs with brighter ones.
If the home has stairs, be sure to add railings on both sides. You might want to consider installing a stair lift, which is a mechanical device that can safely move a person up and down the stairs.
Lastly, you should add bars and railings outside of the shower, next to the toilet, and any other place that might be difficult to access.
Miami Valley Homecare is a leading provider of home care services in Dayton, Centerville, Kettering, Xenia, Beavercreek, Fairborn, Oakwood, and surrounding communities.
If your elderly loved one needs help around the home or 24/7 care, we’d be happy to assist. Contact us today to learn more about our home care services in Ohio.