How can you, as a caregiver, minimize the risk of falls for seniors?

Communicating with caregivers and nurses, I often emphasize the importance of fall prevention for the elderly. Falls are way more dangerous than you might think. 

According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, over 800,000 patients are hospitalized each year as a result of a fall injury, most commonly a hip fracture or a head injury.

In addition to using an emergency alert system, you can consider these five fall prevention strategies:

  1. Inspire seniors to keep moving. It can be any gentle exercise, such as walking, water workouts, or tai chi. An active lifestyle reduces the risk of falls by improving balance, strength, flexibility, and coordination.
  2. Ask them to wear sensible shoes. Properly fitting, flat shoes with slip-resistant soles minimize the risk of falling and reduce joint pain.
  3. Remove room/home hazards, such as electrical cords, boxes, or plant stands from walkways; remove loose rugs and use non-slip mats in the bathroom.
  4. Keep the room brightly lit to avoid stumbling over different objects.
  5. Purchase assistive devices, such as non-slip treads for bare-wood steps, a toilet seat with armrests, a sturdy plastic seat for the shower or tub, and more.

And remember: proper care can prolong life.

Can an emergency alert system reduce the stress level of seniors and caregivers?

How often have you been worrying about your loved ones when they were home alone? They want to remain independent for as long as possible, but staying calm and sure about their safety can be challenging.

Another aspect of this issue is ensuring the elderly receive immediate help when they are unable to use the emergency device due to injury. For that reason, providing seniors with smart fall detection is crucial, especially for those with disabilities. Such systems have built-in detection technology that can notice sudden elevation changes and are designed to deliver help as quickly as possible.

Knowing that your loved ones are being constantly monitored by an alert system helps family members reduce the level of stress. From the psychological side, it will also show your loved ones they are taken care of regardless of the distance.

That feeling of peacefulness is priceless.

We can’t afford a reactive response to seniors’ falls. It should be preventive, and here are the reasons why…

We can’t afford a reactive response to seniors’ falls. It should be preventive, and here are the reasons why.

You’ve probably heard of numerous cases of delayed medical treatment across the country in the last year. In many of them, the crucial reason is considerable staff shortages in hospitals.

According to recent data from Hamilton, Ontario, alone, in the week beginning Oct. 10, there were about 1,257 hours lost waiting for hospital staff.

At the same time, the annual report from HPS showed that falls are one of the two leading causes of emergency ambulance calls. Adding on top of those statistics, seniors are much more vulnerable to fatal outcomes of falls, especially in case of delayed treatment.

For those reasons, caregivers should pay close attention to preventive measures to eliminate as many fall risks as possible.

Previously, I dedicated a few posts to the topic of fall prevention. I highly recommend that you scroll down to them to find some practical implications for senior care.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/hamilton-paramedics-code-zero-triple-1.6625470

Fall prevention is vital to keeping seniors safe, especially when they decide to age in place.

According to the American Geriatrics Society, more than one-third of all adults 65 and older fall each year.

The number of falls increases with age; by 85 years old, over half of adults fall at least once per year. Now, if we consider that the most important risk factor is a previous history of falls, imagine the likelihood of falls among those above 85.

In many cases, physical balance is key to avoiding falling among seniors. Yet it is a complex sensory system that combines information from your eyes, ears, muscles, joints and skin.

For that reason, reducing the risk of falls among older adults requires focusing on the small things, like posture and being aware of how you move. Exercise and regular walks will also help with balance and mobility.

If you suspect a senior loved one is at risk of falling, it may be time to seek professional care. Whether it’s a minor incident or a fall caused by an underlying condition, immediate care is essential.