According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about half of all senior falls happen at home. Areas that used to be easy for seniors to navigate (stairs, the bathroom, and the kitchen) can become safety hazards, resulting in falls causing minor injuries, fractures, or long-term disability. Fortunately, there are a number of preventative measures that seniors and their families can take to reduce the risk of falls at home.
- Lessen the Threat of High Risk Areas – The bathroom and kitchen are prone to slick surfaces that can result in a trip or fall. Make these areas safer by retrofitting the bathtub and shower area with grab bars, laying down non-slip mats, and removing any unnecessary clutter. Items stored high in a medicine cabinet or pantry can be moved to a lower shelf so your loved one won’t have to strain to reach them.
- Make Home Modifications – Whether our caregivers are providing hourly or live-in care in San Antonio, our Care Managers always perform a home safety evaluation to see if modifications can be made. For instance, if the layout of a senior’s home poses a fall risk, families may consider installing a chairlift or placing a ramp on the stairs outside of the home. Other home modifications include installing handrails and additional lighting and widening doorways and hallways to facilitate movement if a walker or wheelchair is used.
- Encourage Regular Exercise – Seniors who follow a daily exercise regimen benefit from stronger muscles and improved balance. By encouraging your loved one to try new physical activities, he or she can keep the body in optimal condition and lessen the risks of falling when performing daily activities.
- Look Into Physical Therapy – Engaging in exercises with a physical therapist can help seniors strengthen the key areas of the body that are responsible for mobility. Such exercises are especially helpful for seniors living with conditions such as Parkinson’s or arthritis which can cause joint pain and make getting around a challenging task.
- Attend Annual Medical Appointments – Changes in vision, hearing, and mobility can make it more difficult to get around the house and often leave seniors at risk for falls. Regular assessments of general health can be used to evaluate the abilities that tend to change with age and medical professionals can provide treatment options to maximize senior safety and health at home.
The above precautions can help reduce fall risk, but keep in mind that a time may come when your loved one may require additional support to live at home safely. Professional in-home care San Antonio, provided by reliable and trained caregivers, is a great solution that provides seniors with the assistance and monitoring needed to remain safe, active, and as independent as possible at home.
For more information about in-home care for an aging loved one, call (210) 495-6300 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with an experienced Care Manager from Home Care Assistance of San Antonio, a trusted local provider of senior home care.