Caregiver Tips: Fall Prevention Tips for Seniors
February 4, 2019
More than one in every four Americans over the age of 65 will suffer from a fall each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury.
As a caregiver, safety is one of your top priorities. Preventing falls is one way we can keep our senior clients healthy and happy. Here are some fall prevention tips for seniors.
Assess the Environment
- Take preventive measures to clear pathways of clutter.
- Arrange furniture to make rooms easy to navigate and allow ample space around items.
- Remove or secure floor rugs.
- Organize the house with most used items to be available at waist level to minimize the need to bend or climb.
- Apply high-contrast colored tape to top and bottom of stairs and thresholds.
- Make sure the home and stairways are well lit.
- Use a night light and/or leave a light on in the bathroom to reduce the risk of falls in the dark
- Allow plenty of time for activities and tasks.
- Encourage the client to use walking aids (canes, walkers).
- Use assistive devices to retrieve items from high shelves.
- Replace shoelaces that tie with elastic ones that won’t come untied and present a tripping hazard.
- Encourage the client to use handrails.
- Suggest the client keep one hand free when walking to allow her to grab onto a sturdy object to stop a fall.
- Minimize distractions and help the client focus while walking.
- Understand the person’s history with falls.
- Notice abilities changing, such as vision, perceptual changes, mobility, and the ability to perceive touch.
- Weight loss, nutrition changes or medication side effects.
- Encourage daily exercise to increase or maintain physical strength.
There are also health conditions that could cause falls:
- Oher chronic conditions (cataracts, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease)
If you recognize that the client is at risk for falls because of environmental or health reasons call the office immediately.