Aged people struggle with many things: health problems, family stress, memory issues, etc. But the leading cause of injury is falling. This can be due to loss of balance, muscle weakness, dizziness, or nutritional deficiencies. It can negatively impact a person’s confidence and cause anxiety. It can also result in fractures and head injuries. So take it seriously and teach them precautions before things get worse. In a few simple ways, you can prevent your elderly family members from falling.
Caring for Aging Parents
Aging comes with several surprises. Sudden back pain, energy fluctuations, irritation, etc. Caring for aging parents can be difficult. It happens suddenly and leaves you no time to prepare. It starts with small things—buying them groceries, cleaning a room, or mending the cupboards. Then it moves on to bigger, more tiring problems, like taking care of your parent’s hygiene, feeding, and mobility. If you feel stressed out, imagine how heartbreaking it must be for your mom and dad to be unable to do such simple things independently. They end up fully dependent on others for their survival and can’t do what they once loved.
Nothing beats the feeling of having your loved ones near and knowing they’re safe. That is why many children choose to become caregivers. While one sibling might take more responsibility than the others, caring for aging parents should be a team effort. After all, they’re not just your parents. They have sisters, daughters, brothers, and sons. If you’re a caregiver, don’t hesitate to ask someone else to lend a hand every now and then. There’s no better time to ask for familial support than when you’re trying to take care of your elderly. You’ll get burned out eventually and be forced to ask for help, so why not learn your limits and try to stay within them?
“It’ll get better” is a phrase that stands untrue for most aging adults. Their health deteriorates rapidly and does not stop, although it can often be slowed with precautions and medication. So it is important that you adjust accordingly. Making your home accessible for them is one such step. Elderly fall prevention should be on top of your caregiving list because aged people are always at risk of falling and developing serious injuries.
Fall Prevention Tips
It is normal for your elderly to fear tripping, slipping, and falling. The majority of hip fractures in older adults are caused by falling. You can help them prevent it in the following ways:
- Talk about their health condition. Stay up-to-date on what medicines they’re taking and why. Ask their doctor about the side effects and how you should deal with them. Many painkillers cause dizziness, so check how it makes them feel and know when they’ve taken it. If your elderly parent suffers from vision, balance, or muscle problems, they are more likely to fall. You should try to notice when they have difficulty standing up and moving and ask them if they feel okay and need assistance.
- Make home safety adjustments. Home safety for the elderly involves installing grab bars in the bathroom, cleaning away all clutter from the floors, getting rid of other trip hazards, and making sure the lights in every room work and are bright. Buy them non-slippery and well-fitted shoes, and make all the things they need accessible by moving them to the middle cabinets—not too low or too high. Bending might be difficult, so try to find a suitable height for them.
- Keep them active. Although it might be difficult for older people to move, getting fresh air and exercise is still important. To prevent falls, take your parent out for walks regularly; this will strengthen their joints and make moving less tiresome and strenuous.
- Check their nutritional intake. Aging can be slowed by eating a well-balanced diet. At old age, it is all the more crucial to eat healthily and take supplements. If your elderly parent has a deficiency, they’re at a greater risk of falling and hurting themself. So talk to their doctor, ask for nutrition tips, and make sure your loved one gets everything their body needs.
How to Maintain a Safe Space
Home modification is an effective fall prevention method for the elderly. You don’t need to change everything in the house to make it safe. Start with clothing. Make sure they’re not loose and dragging on the ground. Find the right size and fit. This can help them move with greater ease. Don’t let them walk around in socks; although they are comfortable, they can be slippery. If your parent finds it painful to wear shoes, buy non-slip socks instead. They have grips on the sole to prevent tripping. Buy them a walking stick if you see them struggling to steady their legs. It will give them extra support to lean on.
Stairs can be their worst enemy. If it is possible, help your loved one live on one floor only. But if they must move up, the stairs should be brightly lit and have railings on both sides. Elderly fall prevention is a serious matter, and stairs can be the main source of problems. Always keep them tidy and well-lit, and see if your parent is comfortable climbing them or requires assistance. Make sure the floor is always clean, the rug non-slippery, and the floorboards tightly set in place.
Caring for aging parents requires a lot of patience. You have to teach them that taking things slowly and at their own pace is okay. This means letting them take as long as they need to stand up and walk as carefully as they need to. With aging comes a loss of control. Your parent will most likely want to retain some control over small things. You should encourage them to do whatever they can on their own. Don’t do everything for them; focus instead on making things easier.
Following a few home safety tips for the elderly and staying well-informed on their health and medication can help prevent your parents from falling. This will protect them from serious injuries and long hospital visits. Try out these tips today to ensure safe spaces for your elderly loved ones.