Falls are a common cause of injury among older adults. In fact, one in three adults age 65 or older falls each year, and 2 million receive treatment for their injuries in emergency departments, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Falls do not only cause serious injury, but can also impact a person's quality of life. Senior communities often have safety measures in place to prevent these types of accidents, but there are also many things family members can do to keep their loved ones safe. |
1. Assess Risk
Your loved one's level of fall risk is not always evident until an accident occurs. Seniors should be encouraged to make an appointment with their health care providers to discuss previous accidents and what can be done to prevent these incidents. In some cases, medications and certain health conditions can contribute to falls.
2. Stay Active
If possible, help your loved one stay active, which can improve balance, strength, flexibility, and coordination. Stick with slow, gentle exercises and activities, such as walking or water workouts. Some older adults avoid activity in senior communities, which can drastically increase their odds of falling.
3. Evaluate the Environment
Home environments, including those in independent living situations, can contain a wide range of hazards, such as electric cords, slippery throw rugs, and excess clutter. Quality senior communities offer housekeeping and maintenance services that can be beneficial in accident management. However, family members should frequently assess the state of their loved one's environment for safety.
4. Change Footwear
The right pair of shoes can make a significant difference in how slippery a floor is. Seniors should steer clear of floppy slippers, high heels, flip flops, and other footwear with slick soles. Invest in a pair of non-skid, sturdy shoes that offer plenty of foot and ankle support.
5. Examine Eyes and Ears
If your loved one doesn't regularly see an eye and ear doctor, he or she should. Both the eyes and ears play an important role in mobility. The eyes are needed to see the path and any obstacles that lie ahead. Inner ear problems can cause or contribute to balance issues, which can make it difficult to walk.
6. Verify Nutrition
Senior communities aim to provide adult residents with high-quality, nutritional meals. However, some residents may suffer from decreased appetite and experience chewing and swallowing problems that can prevent them from getting the nutrition they need. Poor nutrition can lead to dizziness, weakness, and even fainting.
7. Determine Independence
Not all seniors necessitate the same level of care. While some can thrive in independent living situations, others require a more "hands-on" assisted living environment. It's important to take the time to watch and listen to your loved one to determine which type of living situation is best suited for him or her.
One of the biggest concerns of family members of individuals living in senior communities is keeping their loved ones safe. Falls are a regular occurrence among older adults due to a wide range of causes, from poor health to balance or strength issues. If you're concerned about the safety of your loved one, practice these fall prevention tips or speak with a staff member at the resident's facility to discuss your worries.
When looking for senior communities, Detroit, MI residents consult Oakmont Communities. To learn more, visit http://oakmontcommunities.com/.
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