As your senior loved one ages, their risk for falling will increase. Each year, 1 in 4 adults over 65 will take a fall.
While not all fall injuries are severe or fatal, many are. Often, when an older adult falls, it results in a trip to the emergency department.
Falling at any age can lead to a head injury, broken bones, hip fracture, sprain, or strain, but these injuries become more likely with older adults as their bones are thinner and more fragile.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can prevent your loved one from falling. By learning the risks and following safety measures, you can significantly reduce the odds of a fall and life-changing injury from occurring.
Learn more about the top causes and risk factors for falls, exercises to prevent falls, fall prevention strategies, and where to find a safe community for your loved one to live.
Top causes and risk factors for falls
Identifying causes and risk factors are the best way to protect your loved one from falling.
Most older adults have at least one chronic health condition, ultimately increasing their risks. Monitoring your loved ones health and behavior can be helpful to their safety.
Below we’ve included some of the most common health conditions and other risk factors that often lead to falls.
- Chronic conditions
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Thyroid problems
- Heart disease
- Low blood pressure
- Hazards in the home
- Poorly lit environment
- Loose carpet and rugs
- Slippery surfaces
- Icy steps
- History of vertigo
- Loss of balance
- Muscle relaxants
- Poor eyesight or hearing
- Nerve issues
Exercises to prevent falls
A broken bone or injury can lead to a long-term disability or severe health problem, making fall prevention a top priority.
Ensuring your senior loved one is physically active and healthy can keep their bodies and bones strong. Exercising can also help with balance and gait, and flexibility.
At The Kensington Sierra Madre, our rehabilitation therapists help our residents maintain their quality of life through physical, occupational, and speech therapies and promote exercise, mindfulness, and overall wellness.
Explore some exercises to do with your elderly loved one at home.
Balance and strength training exercises
To help your loved one improve or maintain their balance and strength, have them try yoga, pilates, tai chi, lifting weights, and using resistance bands.
Keeping a strong body can help your loved one from falling and severe injuries if they do fall.
Seated exercises are perfect for seniors who struggle to stand for periods, fear falling during exercise, and need assistance with standing.
Chair exercises can increase muscle strength, improve blood flow, and support bones, ligaments, and tendons.
Seniors who can stand without assistance can engage in sit-to-stand exercises to improve their mobility.
These are great alternatives to exercises requiring the elderly to stand for long periods. These exercises may be preferred by seniors who have had hip or knee surgery.
What are the top fall prevention methods?
There are many fall prevention strategies that can be followed to keep your loved one safe from falls and protect their independence.
Maintain a safe environment
Most falls occur at home. To ensure the safety of your loved one, safety-proof their home by making sure floors and pathways are uncluttered, clean, and not slippery.
If your loved one has loose carpets or rugs, these should be taken out of their home and any other tripping hazards.
A poorly lit area can make it difficult for your loved one to see where they are going or if something is in their path. They would benefit from a well-lit area.
Replace light bulbs and put nightlights in each room and hallway.
In the winter months, you should salt your loved ones steps and sidewalk to reduce their chances of slipping on ice.
Invest in assisted devices
Many older adults have balance and mobility issues. If your loved one is prone to becoming dizzy, lightheaded, or not great on their feet, they will need grab bars, handrails, and a cane or walker.
Your loved one can use assisted devices in bathrooms, bedrooms, hallways, and near staircases.
Monitor medication and health
Most older adults take at least one medication daily, which can increase their chances of falling if they experience adverse side effects.
The risk of falling becomes even higher if an older adult must take multiple medications.
When your loved one begins taking a new medication, monitor them for symptoms and side effects, such as dizziness and drowsiness.
A healthcare professional can help if your loved one needs to change medications.
How a community setting can be the safest option?
As your loved one’s needs increase, it may become challenging to care for them and keep them safe.
Senior living communities offer around-the-clock support, guidance, compassion, and medical care.
Our team at The Kensington Sierra Madre monitors our resident’s health and changes their care plans as needed to ensure their comfort and safety.
We take pride in our enhanced care, on-site comprehensive rehabilitation services, and community.
With our expertise in memory diseases, memory enhancement, Parkinson’s disease, pain management, and fall prevention, your loved one can truly age in place.
An optimal environment for your loved one
At The Kensington Sierra Madre, we stand by Our Promise to love and care for your family as we do our own.
With a full spectrum of clinical care, a medical director, and licensed nurses, your loved one can recover from injuries, improve their health, and maintain their quality of life.
When your loved one joins our community, they will receive:
- High acuity care
- Alzheimer’s care
- Dementia care
- Skilled rehabilitation services
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Opportunities to engage in life-enrichment activities
- Exquisite dining services
- Speciality diets