With one in four seniors falling every year, the importance of fall prevention and education is invaluable to ensure the safety and overall well-being of the senior in your life. Reducing the likelihood of a fall can be accomplished with a few precautionary steps in your loved one’s living space.
Taking these precautions can help improve your parent or loved one’s safety at home, as well as make the house a more inviting space for family and guests.
Brickmont Assisted Living understands the importance of fall prevention, and maintaining safety is one of our primary goals throughout our communities in Georgia. We want to provide you with a few suggestions to help decrease the risk of a fall occurring and help create a better and safer home.
Fall Prevention Tip: Assess Your Loved One’s Home
As we age in our homes, unique obstacles may develop. Stairs, for instance, may become more challenging to navigate as we age and can pose a potential trip or fall hazard. The same goes for the bathroom, where up to 80% of falls occur for older adults. Preventing falls at home or reducing the risk of a fall occurring should begin with an overall assessment of your parent or loved one’s home.
Some basic questions to consider may include (but are not limited to):
Has your loved one had a fall at home in the last 12 months?
If the answer is yes, where in the home did it occur? Focusing on these areas can eliminate current hazards quickly. Pay close attention to the lighting of these areas i.e., missing lights, and any obvious trip hazards (electrical cords, loose rugs, etc.)
Are safety measures being taken in the bathroom?
Install grab bars in or around the bathtub and toilet to assist with entering, exiting, sitting, and standing. In addition, a non-slip mat should be added to the bottom of the tub to provide added safety.
Does your loved one have stairs?
If so, does your parent or loved one have a difficult time walking up and down them? You will want to ensure the railing is secure and that lighting in the stairwell is adequate. If mobility becomes an issue with stairs, assess which rooms are on the upper floors of the house and consider moving necessary items to the ground floor.
Answering these and similar questions can help assess the safety of the home, as well as how well your loved one navigates their home.
Fall Prevention Tip: Declutter the House
Preventing falls at home can also be accomplished by thoroughly cleaning and decluttering the home. It’s very easy to let clutter grow, but clutter creates added stress and can make it challenging to navigate our homes.
If your loved one’s walking path is blocked by bulky carpeting, cords/wires, and/or large furniture, these can pose a concern. Clearing unnecessary items and reorganizing can lead to a safer environment. High traffic areas of the home should always be clean and well-lit for your loved one.
Fall Prevention Tip: Exercise and Diet
Exercise and diet play a significant role in the health and well-being of seniors, including fall prevention. Exercises that focus on balance can improve strength and prevent a senior from losing his or her footing.
Should a fall occur, certain exercises and diet options can lessen the risk of serious injury. For example, strength training exercises, when combined with a diet full of calcium and vitamin D, can help improve bone density. Before starting an exercise regimen or diet, we encourage you to speak with your parent or loved one’s primary physician.
Preventing falls at home is important, but there may come a time when these precautionary steps are not enough. If that is the case, an assisted living community may be an option. Brickmont Assisted Living communities offer a welcoming and safe environment that fosters independence for our residents. Our senior living team has a passion for providing seniors with genuine service, authentic hospitality, and compassionate care.