As loved ones age or face increasing mobility challenges, the risk of falls can increase significantly. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of injury among older Americans. However, with proper precautions and awareness, it is possible to prevent many falls and increase the overall well-being of elderly or disabled friends or family members. At All Seasons Homecare, our team understands the importance of creating a safe environment for our clients – and peace of mind for their families. Feel free to utilize our guide of valuable tips to prevent falls in elderly or disabled individuals in your life.

Our Best Tips to Prevent Falls

Complete a Home Safety Assessment: Conduct a thorough assessment of their home environment to identify any potential hazards that might cause a fall. This includes making sure the home has adequate lighting, removing any potential tripping hazards such as cluttered items or slippery rugs, and installing grab bars in bathrooms (near the shower and toilet), on the porch, and in any stairways. You can also consider consulting with a professional caregiver from a reputable home care service like our staff at All Seasons Homecare. We can help with this assessment to make sure nothing is overlooked.

Encourage Regular Exercise: Another way you can help is by encouraging your loved ones to participate in regular physical exercise. Movement activities can improve strength, balance, and flexibility and make it more unlikely that a fall will occur or that they will be seriously injured if one should happen. There are many simple exercises such as walking, tai chi, or chair yoga that people of varying abilities can participate in that help reduce the risk of falls. A staff member from an at home care service can also assist with exercise routines tailored to your loved one’s abilities and needs.

Use Medication Management: Make sure that you frequently review medications with your loved one’s healthcare provider(s) to identify any potential side effects or interactions that may increase the risk of falls. For instance, some medications need to be taken with food, others can cause dizziness and lead to loss of balance, and still others can have a sedative-like effect. Once the doctor has been consulted, set up an organized system so that medications are taken as prescribed and stored safely to prevent accidental overdoses or missed doses.

Use Assistive Devices: Many elderly people or those who live with disabilities already know the value of having assistive devices of various kinds. You can help by making sure appropriate assistive devices such as canes, walkers, or wheelchairs are available to help with both mobility and stability. Check occasionally to make sure all devices are properly fitted and regularly maintained to ensure effectiveness and help reduce falls.

Buy Appropriate Footwear: Encouraging your loved ones to wear supportive, non-slip footwear both indoors and outdoors can be highly impactful in helping to increase stability. Explain to them that they need to avoid shoes with any sort of a heel or slippery soles (including those that have simply worn out and lost tread), as these increase the risk of falls. Proper ankle support can also be very grounding and helpful at helping maintain balance.

Schedule Regular Vision and Hearing Checks: Another often overlooked way to help with balance is to schedule regular vision and hearing exams for your loved one. This is important because certain sensory impairments may affect depth perception, balance, and coordination. Simple corrective measures such as an updated prescription for glasses or hearing aids could make a profound difference in helping to reduce the risk of imbalance and falls.

Keep Your Loved One Well-Hydrated and Nourished: It is essential for everyone, no matter their age, to maintain both proper hydration and nutrition. Though simple, these are key components to maintaining overall health and strength. Try to encourage your loved one to drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals to support bone health and muscle function. This will likely help them feel more energized and reduce the chance of weakness which can lead to unfortunate spills and injury.

Plan for an Emergency Response System: It’s a great idea to consider investing in a personal emergency response system, such as Life Alert, for added peace of mind. These devices allow individuals to call for help in the event of a fall or medical emergency, so that assistance can come quickly if a fall or other medical emergency should occur. Typically worn around the neck, they should be easy to reach 24/7 so the wearer always has a lifeline to call for help.

Schedule Regular Check-Ins: At All Seasons Homecare, we believe it’s essential for both physical and mental well-being for each and every one of us to feel connected to a community. Make sure you schedule regular check-ins to stay connected with your loved one. The more family members and friends who do this, the more loved and supported the person will feel. If you live nearby, arranging for regular visits may be possible, but if you live far apart, try using video chats or even simple phone calls to stay in touch. If distance or a busy schedule are an impediment, a caregiver from a trusted Bay Area home care service like All Seasons can provide companionship and support, which many times can reduce isolation and loneliness.

Promote Education and Awareness: Finally, it’s important that you inform your loved one about the importance of fall prevention and empower them to take an active role in their own safety. It’s great to encourage open communication about any concerns or changes in health status that may affect mobility or balance. Remind them that their care is a priority and they are never a burden, so that they feel comfortable asking for help or reporting any changes.

Consult our Home Care Professionals at All Seasons Today for Compassionate Disabled and Elderly Home Care 

We hope these tips come in handy to help you keep your loved ones safe and reduce the likelihood of falls and injuries. By implementing these proactive measures, you can often help reduce the risk of falls. These steps also build a safe and supportive environment for your loved one to thrive in both mentally and physically.

At All Seasons Homecare we can also offer elderly home care services if you, as the primary caregiver, need respite care. Whether you are looking for someone to assist your loved one in their home part time or full time, call us at (925) 363-4900. Together, we will evaluate your current needs and make a plan to move forward with the well-being of your friend or family member.