Risk of Falls and How to Prevent Them

September 30, 2018 | BY PHS Staff

At Preferred HealthStaff, we know that preventing older patients from falling is one of our important jobs. Falling may not seem like a big deal when you’re younger, but our home care providers know just how many problems a simple fall can cause when a patient gets older. When we’re offering in-home support to our patients, we keep their risk of falling in mind and focus on how to prevent them from experiencing this kind of pain.

Know Their Medications

There are some prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications out there that could cause side effects in seniors. Issues like dehydration or dizziness could end up leading to a nasty fall. There could also be interactions between the medications that are being taken. If you know which medications your grandparent or parent are taking, you can know if a fall is more likely and take precautions.

Make Home Modifications

There are a variety of things that you can do to make a home safer for someone who is prone to falling. A senior may have lived in their home their entire life, but their home hasn’t evolved with them. Keeping up with maintenance and changing some things could keep them safer.

Take a look at the stairs in their home. Are they well lit? Is there a banister or grab bar to hold onto? If not, add some motion sensing lights and install a bar that can keep them safer. Also, make sure the stairs are not broken in a way that could make for a safety hazard. It’s also wise to keep the stairs free of clutter. It can be harder to go around obstacles as you get older.

Bed rails and grab bars can also be installed in bathrooms and bedrooms. As at home caregivers, we know that anything that can help a senior maintain balance is a plus. Taking these relatively simple steps can make a big difference when it comes to keeping a senior safer.

Keep Chronic Conditions in Mind

If a senior has a chronic condition, that could mean a higher likelihood of a fall. A number of chronic conditions affect mobility or mean less function in some parts of the body. When we offer in-home care services, we keep conditions like arthritis or a recent stroke in mind and remember to be even more vigilant than usual.

Check on Their Eyesight

You expect that problems with joints and mobility can lead to more falls, but those aren’t the only parts of the body that need to be focused on. If you want to prevent falls, seeing if your senior’s eyesight needs an assist can make a big difference. Vision issues or an old pair of glasses that aren’t up to snuff can make it harder to see hazards, stairs, or edges of objects that could knock them down. Our vision may fade as we get older, but doing what you can to make sure that a senior can see as well as possible in their later years can help protect them from a fall and its potentially deadly effects.