As we are approaching the season of fall, let’s talk about a different type of fall: fall prevention.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that each year, 2.8 million elderly people are treated in emergency rooms for fall injuries. Falls can be costly and serious, especially in older people. Broken bones, hip fractures and head injuries are just a few of the damages caused by falls.
If you are caring for a loved one who is elderly, whether it’s your parents, a great aunt or uncle or a patient, below are some simple ways to take precaution to help prevent falls.
Prepare Their Home Environment
Do a walk-through safety assessment of where they live. It’s important to have a well-lit house, secure rails on all stairs and grab bars in the bathroom area around the tub and toilet.
Be mindful of how they are getting around. Are they holding onto walls or furniture? Do they appear to have difficulty walking or getting up after sitting down?
Check Their Vision and Hearing
If they are having trouble seeing or hearing, they might not be able to avoid objects when walking around. A hearing aid and eye glasses are solutions for bad vision or hearing.
Talk to Them
Older people may be scared about falling and are in return not moving around enough. Or maybe they have fallen before and fear the chance of it happening again. This can make their body weak if they are sitting or lying too long and not getting the right nutrients. A weak body can increase the risk of falling.
What are Their Current Medications?
Some prescriptions have side effects of dizziness, light-headedness, etc. Do any of the medications they are taking increase their risk of falling? Talk to their pharmacist or doctor to learn more about their prescriptions.
If you are caring for an older loved one and would like more information regarding falls or home medical equipment or supplies, visit Ochsner Total Health Solutions located in Metairie.