Falling injuries are a common problem for seniors, especially seniors still living on their own. Preventing senior falling injuries in the home requires a mix of both proactivity and activity. That means both being aware of what could cause accidents, and trying to minimize them before they occur. Total prevention may be impossible, but with the right measures, the injuries from a fall could be mitigated.
Getting Up After Falling Down
Falling down becomes a common source of injury as we age. Changes to our bodies, as well as certain medications, can increase this risk.
Ongoing physical activity is the best way to both recover and build up strength. You and your healthcare professional will need to discuss the right level of activity for you. Even low-impact activities like tai chi, water workouts, and walking can build strength and reduce falling risks. Focus on exercises that improve strength, coordination, balance, and flexibility.
Another preventative measure to consider is sensible footwear. High heels, floppy slippers, and shoes with slick soles all are additional falling risks. Sensible shoes may also help reduce joint pain if that’s an ongoing problem. Wearing comfortable shoes will help prevent falls from happening or make the impact less severe.
Your healthcare provider may also recommend using a cane or walker for additional support. Similar considerations might include things like handrails for the stairs, grab bars for the tub, or a raised toilet seat. Even small changes can provide extra support to reduce the risk of falling injuries.
Treatment After Falling Down
Treatment after falling down should be discussed thoroughly with your healthcare provider. To assess your risk, they may ask about medications, previous falls, and underlying health conditions.
A healthcare provider may also recommend lifestyle shifts to reduce the risks of falling. In addition to the tips mentioned above, they’ll likely encourage evaluating the home for potential fall hazards to make the home safer.
Start by removing any obstructions or potential tripping hazards in the walkway, like boxes, newspapers, or electrical or phone cords. Move any coffee tables, magazine racks, and plant stands away from high-traffic areas. Secure any loose rugs with double-faced tape, tacks, or another slip-resistant backing, or remove them entirely. Repair any loose floorboards or carpeting right away. Store clothing, dishes, toiletries, and other necessities within easy reach. Finally, put in nonslip mats in the shower or tub. If using a shower, use a bath seat, which provides additional stability when showering.
Many falls are caused by unseen objects, so keep the home brightly lit to avoid tripping over them. Similarly, night lights should be installed in the bedroom, bathroom, and hallways to improve visibility. Put a lamp in reach of the bed in case you need to get up in the middle of the night. Clear paths to light switches that aren’t near room entrances, and consider switching to glow-in-the-dark or illuminated switches. Turn on the lights before going up and down the stairs. And store flashlights in easy-to-find places in the event of power outages. Taking these steps will reduce the risks associated with poor visibility or lighting.
Get Up Again with Help From BASS Medical Group
Getting up again after a fall gets harder and harder the older we get. You don’t need to face that struggle alone with help from family, friends, and the experts from BASS Medical Group.
BASS Medical Group’s professionals are here to help with the various challenges that come with growing older. With everything from falls to joint and back pain, BASS has the expertise needed to make those challenges easier. Call or schedule your next appointment today to find out more.