If your elderly mother is afraid of falling and hurting herself, she is not alone. Many seniors know of a friend or family member that experienced a serious injury due to a slip and fall accident. They’ve seen how hard the recovery process is for something like a broken bone or concussion and they worry they’ll experience the same trauma.
As her family caregiver, you can reassure your mother that you will work together to make sure she is as safe as possible. Then, come up with a plan to reduce her risk of falling so she won’t have so much anxiety.
Slip and Fall Accidents are Serious
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention track slip and fall accidents for elderly Americans and it revealed that more than a quarter of all seniors have a serious fall every. Some elderly adults are lucky and only sustain a few bumps and bruises, but a significant number must go to the emergency room and are even hospitalized due to their fall injuries.
Most seniors worry about their health, but fear of falling is very common, especially elderly adults that have many physical complications from their injuries. Some injuries are so severe that they cannot live independently anymore. It is then they rely on family caregivers and home care providers for help with daily tasks. Preventing falls from happening is the best way to keep loved ones living on their own and without injury.
Factors in a Fall
Elderly adults are more likely to experience a slip and fall injury because their bodies are not as strong or resilient as they used to be. With age comes a weakening in the bones and muscles, and challenges to walking, balance and vision. Many seniors also deal with conditions like arthritis, vertigo, tremors, diabetes, glaucoma, cataracts, dehydration, lower body weakness and the aftereffects of a stroke.
Not only do seniors run a greater risk of falling and hurting themselves, but they are looking at a longer and more difficult recovery time. The same age-related conditions that contribute to falls can make the body take longer to heal. Circulation is weaker, as is the immune system. Elderly people may be battling one or more chronic conditions while they recover, making more demands on the body. Some medications they take can complicate recovery as well.
How to Prevent Slip and Fall Injuries
When seniors are injured, the road to recovery can be long and difficult. With a broken arm, leg or hip, many elderly people must rely on family caregivers and home care providers to help them with things like bathing, meal prep and housekeeping.
To prevent injuries from even happening, there are several things that family caregivers and home care providers can do. First, they can make modifications to the home, such as grab bars by the toilet and removing protruding furniture. Good lighting, even flooring, and snug-fitting footwear can also help. Family caregivers can hire home care providers to be on hand to help their aging relative with bathing, dressing and meal prep to reduce the likelihood of the elderly person falling in the kitchen or bathroom.
Family caregivers can take action to eliminate the different risk factors that contribute to slip and fall accidents in seniors. Eliminating hidden hazards, keeping their loved one strong and healthy and controlling the environment are key to reducing the risk.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED-ONE ARE CONSIDERING HIRING IN-HOME CAREGIVERS IN PARADISE VALLEY, AZ, PLEASE CALL THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE SCOTTSDALE. WE ARE HERE TO HELP!