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.
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