Help keep your loved one safe with fall prevention

Help keep your loved one safe with fall prevention

November 17, 2020

As your loved ones get older, they’ll become more prone to falls that can take a toll on their health and livelihood. According to the National Council on Aging, one in four older Americans fall every year—and falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for people over the age of 65. The good news about falls is that they can be prevented with some extra precautions taken in your loved one’s life. Heather Glen Senior Living recognizes the importance of implementing preventative measures in the routines of our residents to help keep falls from happening. We’ve listed what we look out for in our residents to prevent falls, and we encourage you to take these into consideration when caring for your loved ones as well. 

Ask about their eye health 

Keeping their prescriptions current and ensuring they have their preferred eyewear can go a long way in helping prevent a fall. Having clear vision will help them avoid tripping over obstacles and can help them keep their balance. If your loved one currently uses transition lenses, consider asking them to switch between glasses and sunglasses instead. Tint-changing lenses can be hazardous when going from bright, natural light to indoor lighting, leading to falls. Bifocals can also be problematic when it comes to using stairs or even small steps. Their eye doctor can help them make the best decision possible. 

Talk about current medications

If your loved one has noticed changes in balance, increased dizziness or blurred vision, it’s best to consult their doctor and learn about the side effects of their current medication. Encourage them to discuss their concerns with their doctors and see if there’s anything in their routine that could be impairing their ability to move without falling. Also, make sure they are aware of the side effects of any non-prescription medication—they can often contain sleep aids, leading to balance issues and dizziness. 

Discuss their health conditions 

You might have a general idea of your loved one’s current health conditions, but opening up the dialogue can encourage them to let you know when something changes that may need further attention or cause them to need more assistance. If they’re having trouble managing their own health, including moving without falling or remembering to take medications, it could be time to have a serious discussion about alternative living options. Heather Glen Senior Living can provide the resources you need to have the initial discussion with your loved one and help them make the right decision. 

Come up with a plan

Part of taking preventative measures includes having a plan if a fall were still to occur. Work with your loved one to set up a plan if they are to fall while alone in their home. Whether it’s a medical alert necklace, cell phone or other home alarm system, it’s important for them to have the means to contact emergency services (and you) after a fall. You can also talk to them about working with a physical therapist to help improve their balance, strength and gait through specific exercises. This medical professional can also suggest a cane or walker, if needed. 

Conduct an assessment of their living space 

Walk through the current living space of your loved one alone or with a medical professional to determine any hazards. Increase lighting throughout the house to help them see better, make sure rails are secure on stairs and even single steps, and install grab bars in the bathrooms near toilets and in showers. 

Again, if you and your loved one come to the conclusion that a personal care community is the best choice for them at this stage of their life, Heather Glen Senior Living is here to help. Your loved one can experience a worry-free, healthy lifestylewith the opportunity to make new friends and learn new hobbies. Each resident has an individualized support program to maximize their independence while receiving a daily helping hand to ensure they are taken care of. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a tour of the best personal care community in Lehigh Valley.

Ask Kim & Jessica