Lisa Conway – Hometown News
Q: How can I help my aging parents prevent future falls?
A: This is a good question that comes up a LOT. If your loved one is falling frequently, ask when they last saw their physician. If it has been awhile, suggest making an appointment right away. Make certain they (or you) alert the doctor to their recent fall history and ask if the doctor will write “an order for therapy to evaluate and treat.” Medication changes? Some medications may lower blood pressure, decrease awareness and cause dizziness.
A safety assessment of the senior and their surroundings can also help prevent falls. Do they use a cane or walker? Assistive devices, canes and walkers are all helpful — but only if used properly and consistently. Are hearing aids and eyeglasses current? One or more weakened senses can increase the risk for a fall.
Around the House:
- Stairs or steps — With a walker, stairs and steps can be difficult to traverse; a ramp might be needed.
- Bathroom — Is the toilet the right height? A toilet extender may be in order. The shower is a notorious trouble spot. A shower chair, non-skid surface, detachable shower spray and grab bar can make all the difference.
- Bedroom — Is the bed too high? Seniors should be able to get in and out of bed safely. An automated bed or even railings can help.
- Clutter— Without a place for “stuff” –clutter can become the enemy. Conversely, items placed too low or too high in closets can turn retrieval into a balancing act.
- Furniture and more — Identify trip hazards like loose throw rugs, polished or uneven floors and trailing extension cords. Is the home lighting bright enough to see well?
Life doesn’t have to be an accident waiting to happen. Take action today to prevent a future fall. To learn more, contact The Experts in Aging at One Senior Place in Viera by calling 321-751-6771.
One Senior Place is a marketplace for resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their families. Questions for this column are answered by professionals in nursing, social work, care management and in-home care. Send questions to askOSP@OneSeniorPlace.com or visit One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging at OneSeniorPlace.com. Lisa Conway is a Registered Nurse and a Certified Care Manager for Senior Partner Care Services, Viera.