5 Ways to Prevent Falls in Seniors

5 Ways to Prevent Falls in SeniorsIt’s no secret that as we age, we become a little less steady and sometimes need a little more help. Falls are prevalent in the aging community. If you have a loved one at risk for frequent falls, here are five things to do to help them stay upright!

  1. Thoroughly assess their health. Your best starting point is making sure you are aware of all medical conditions and medications that could contribute to a likelihood of falls. This may mean taking your loved one for a physical if it has been a while, or obtaining permission from them to speak with all doctors involved in their care. It’s best to start with a complete picture of all risk factors. And don’t forget to be certain they have had a recent eye exam and that all prescriptions for glasses and contacts are up to date. Confirm with a doctor or physical therapist that they have the assistive devices needs, such as a wheelchair, walker or cane, needed for safe mobility.
  2. Review all medications. Make sure you have a full list and schedule of your loved one’s medications. Research side effects to determine if any cause dizziness and think about the time of day the medication is taken.
  3. Assess their need for assistance. Based upon their medical and physical condition, as well as their medication schedule, are there times where it would be ideal to have assistance available for them? Perhaps your senior is shakiest in the morning when they are trying to get dressed, making falls more of a risk at that time. Having an aid or companion around to help with getting ready for the day could prevent falls. Or is the risk greater for your loved one when preparing meals or trying to do light housekeeping? Assistance with these daily functions may be best. Lastly, if your senior has a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia, a companion may be beneficial during the sundowning period of 4 p.m. and after, when judgement goes down and agitation increases. Think about the daily activities of your loved one and see where having a friend, family member or hired companion around might be most valuable.
  4. Make home modifications. Home modifications don’t have to be major construction projects to make a difference. Some items to consider are:
    • Removing throw/area rugs to reduce tripping hazards
    • Smoothing thresholds to make them easier to cross without stumbling
    • Increasing lighting in dark areas (floor lighting is especially helpful)
    • Installing step-in showers with seats
    • Buying a shower chair
    • Obtaining powered lift seats for going up and down stairs
    • Reducing the amount of furniture and clutter to make getting around easier
    • Installing additional railings around the home
    • Installing ramps for wheelchairs
  5. Involve them in the process. If your senior is able to understand their need for fall prevention interventions, make sure to involve him or her in the decision making. Consult with them as you move furniture, rearrange a kitchen to make it more accessible or hire someone to spend time with them. Leaving them out can cause resentment and a feeling of helplessness. Empower them whenever possible.

5 Ways to Prevent Falls in SeniorsAt Errand Works, we understand the unique challenges of our senior population and various interventions we can put in place to prevent falls. If you are in need of assistance with errands as you declutter their home or the company of one of our Errand Runners, give us a call. We are here to simplify your life and provide you with peace of mind.

Errand Works, LLC, is licensed, bonded and insured. Every errand runner must pass a Virginia State Criminal Background Check prior to being hired. In addition, each errand runner is a Virginia State Notary. Errand Works currently serves Prince William County, Fauquier County, Fairfax County, Loudoun County and the surrounding areas.