With one in four seniors falling every year, it is important to ensure that you or your loved one are taking necessary steps to prevent falls. Reducing the likelihood of falls at home can be accomplished by implementing a few precautionary measures in the house and your loved one’s life.
Recognizing fall hazards in your home or a loved one’s home is important to fostering a supportive and safe environment. Silver Comet Village in Powder Springs, Georgia, understands the importance of fall prevention and the impact these preventable injuries have on the older demographic. We want to provide some suggestions and tips to aid in fall prevention, at home, or otherwise.
Clean or Cluttered?
Preventing falls at home starts with the condition and cleanliness of the house.
- What is the state of the home?
- Is the home cluttered with items that make it difficult to move around?
If it is difficult to navigate comfortably in the home (for you or your loved one), it can prove to be a hazard in the long run. Moving unnecessary items or tripping hazards (electronic cords, rugs, etc.) from the walking path may certainly help, but the overall flow of the room is important, too. If the walking path is blocked by furniture, reorganizing the house and furniture could add a layer of safety to the home while also rejuvenating the flow of rooms.
Home Assessment Check
Aside from clutter, it’s also essential to assess the overall home. Certain areas of the home can pose a hidden danger if not appropriately maintained. The bathroom is an especially dangerous section of the home, as anyone can fall while taking a shower or exiting to a wet, slippery floor. A considerable preventative measure for the bathroom is to install grab bars near the toilet and in the shower itself. For an added layer of safety, you could add a shower seat and a mat for them to step on as they exit the shower.
If your parent or loved one has stairs in their home, be sure to investigate the sturdiness of the railings. The lighting in the house is another important factor to consider. Is the home well-lit (especially high traffic areas), or are there spots that could be improved? If your loved one is going to continue to reside in their home, especially alone, it is crucial to complete a home assessment to remove any potential tripping hazards.
Exercise and Fall Prevention
Fall prevention goes beyond the state of your parent or loved one’s home. There are certain lifestyle and habit changes that assist with fall prevention, including exercise. Exercises such as strength training and balance training could aid in fall prevention or at the very least, help diffuse an emergency if one were to occur. Here are a few examples of exercises that can benefit your loved one:
- Single-leg stand
- Chair leg raises
- Toe touches
- Marching in position
These simple exercises can help your loved one find balance and increase the strength of their legs. Exercises such as walking or jogging can also help maintain leg strength and stability.
Diet and Habits
Furthermore, your loved one’s habits and diet can also play a significant role in fall prevention. Calcium and vitamin D are two items your loved one should strive to include in their diet. Calcium is a required mineral that helps with our bone’s health, among other things. On the other hand, vitamin D allows our bodies to more effectively absorb calcium, making it just as important for your bones. Protein can also assist with bone density and health. Fatty fish, yogurt, orange juice, egg yolks, and cheese are some of the best foods that are rich in protein, vitamin D, and calcium.
If you found this information helpful, and are searching for more information on senior health or healthy aging, we encourage you to visit our Silver Comet Village blog.
Silver Comet Village is a senior living community located in Powder Springs, Georgia, near the Silver Comet Trail. We offer independent living, assisted living options, and memory care and support services.