Fall Prevention for Seniors

Falling. For an infant, it’s commonplace and usually non-consequential. For a young adult, it’s uncommon and can take a bit more of a toll. For a senior, however, falling can be a traumatic event that leads to the emergency room and requires long-term treatment. Fortunately, though it is not uncommon for the elderly to fall, there are some simple precautions that seniors and family members can take to decrease the likelihood of falls and the likelihood of sustaining significant damage should a fall occur.

Evaluation of surroundings – A good first step concerning a senior who is still at home is to evaluate the home. Is it safe? Are there obstacles on the floor? Is the lighting sufficient? If the senior has fallen before, what was the cause? Addressing questions like these is the beginning of making home a little safer.

Adaptation of surroundings – In addition to eliminating hazards found during your evaluation, look into home modifications that can be done to make the home environment safer, such as installing handrails and lights on staircases, grab bars in the bathroom, and non-slip mats in bathtubs and showers.

Exercise – Keeping leg muscles strong decreases the risk of falling. Look into exercise programs that emphasize balance and maintaining muscle strength.

Vision – Vision checks should be performed every year. Glasses and contacts can help seniors identify and navigate obstacles.

Medications – Have a doctor or pharmacist review all medications in order to prevent dizziness and drowsiness, which could cause a painful fall.

Evaluate senior housing options – Sometimes the home is simply not the right place. If you have a loved one who has recently fallen at home, look into assisted living facilities and long-term care facilities in Denver such as Aspen Siesta. It is important to carefully evaluate each type of facility and each individual facility that you are referred to. Look into the various levels of care and the staffing ratios of each facility – an important consideration in fall prevention.

If you have any questions about fall risks or are looking to place your loved one in a community with excellent staffing ratios, call Aspen Siesta at 303.757.1209, and we’d be happy to help.

Photo Credit: oneweekendwebsite

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/features/olderamericans/

What is the difference between an assisted living facility and a nursing home in Denver, CO?

When looking to place a loved one who needs more assistance than family or friends can provide at home over the long-term, the two main types of facilities that the responsible party would need to choose from would be assisted living facilities and skilled nursing facilities, also known as nursing homes.

Assisted living facilities can be a great option for seniors who do not need intensive nursing care, but do need assistance with activities of daily living such as eating and self-cares. Assisted living facilities provide basic housekeeping and laundry, as well as varying levels of care for physical needs. Some assisted livings staff nurses around the clock, while others staff nurses during daylight hours only. Many assisted living facilities also provide secured memory care units, a valuable resource for residents with dementia who have a high risk of wandering.

Long-term skilled nursing facilities are the next step up in care. Often, residents are placed in nursing homes following a catastrophic event such as a fall or a stroke, or simply because their needs have developed beyond what their assisted living community or home care agency can provide. Skilled nursing facilities in Denver staff nurses and CNAs around the clock to ensure the physical, emotional, and social well-being of residents with a higher acuity, or need, than residents of an assisted living community.

When looking at senior housing options in the Denver area, it’s best to first consider what level of support your loved one needs. Then consider each individual facility – what activities and staffing ratios they provide, where they are located, and what kind of atmosphere it is. If you are looking for placement in South Denver, we’d be happy to help you determine which kind of a facility would be best for your loved one, and provide input on your options in the area. If you would like assistance, please give us a call at 303.757.1209.