Tips For Helping Seniors Reduce Their Fall Risk

Helping Seniors Prevent Falls in the Home

Heather Lantry and Family in Halloween CostumesWhile the monsters and ghouls are out marauding this week, and my younger children are not sleeping well due to the classic mix of excitement, sugar, and fear, our older adults have a much more pressing fear weighing on their minds – falls. Anecdotally, fear of falling is the number one worry clients report during our initial consultation. Unlike my kids being worried about Pennywise, a look at the statistics on falls for people over age 65 points to the reasonableness of their concern. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one out of every four people over age 65 will fall in a given year, and once you’ve had one fall, your risk of falling again increases by 50%. Scariest of all, falls are the leading cause of fatal injury, with an older adult dying from fall-related injuries every 19 minutes in the United States.

I can’t mix up a bottle of “monster spray” to chase this fear away, but there are well-documented steps for minimizing the risk of falling for seniors. These steps include:

  • Clean up clutter and remove tripping hazards – A Right at Home caregiver can help with throwing out trash, packing up things for a favorite charity to pick up, and otherwise tidying the living space.
  • Install grab bars and secure existing handrails – especially in the bathroom, grab bars are essential for steadiness and support.
  • Wear shoes – wearing only socks can dramatically increase the risk of falling, particularly on non-carpeted surfaces.
  • Take your time – whether due to a bit of postural hypotension, throwing yourself off balance, or just a bit of bad luck, moving quickly can lead to a loss of balance or trunk control. It isn’t a race!

For additional steps and tips for fall prevention, here are a couple of brochures you can download:

What You Can Do Check for Safety

Since I firmly believe in the expression “laugh and the world laughs with you; cry and you cry alone,” I got a good laugh from this Ryan Hamilton comedy bit about his “adult fall,” and I hope you do as well. In the meantime, I wish you all a very Happy Halloween. Remember to encourage your seniors to take their time getting to the door!

If someone you love is in need of care, contact us today.

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H. Lantry
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