Five Fall Factors to Consider
When it comes to preventing falls for your elderly family member, you probably already know that clutter is her enemy and that scouring the house for tripping hazards is important. But there are some other fall risks to consider, too.
If your senior's muscles are weaker, they're not going to be able to help her to balance very well. Weaker muscles also tire more easily, which can mean that if your elderly family member has to walk farther than her muscles can support, she may be more likely to fall. Having plenty of chairs and resting spots around the house can help.
Your elderly family member's feet are her support system while she's walking. If she's having pain or numbness in her feet, it's not easy for her to be able to tell where her feet are and what they're doing. Foot issues can be a result of other health conditions, too, so be sure to talk to her doctor about what else you can do to help keep her feet healthy.
Dizziness and vertigo can be a result of some health issues, such as an ear infection, or they can be a side effect of some medications. Vertigo leaves your senior off balance and unable to accurately place her feet and the rest of her body. It's a huge fall risk for your senior. Grab bars strategically placed throughout the house can give your senior somewhere to reach if she feels off balance.
Dehydration is a common problem for aging adults and it's something that you can easily help her to avoid. Your senior might find that she feels a little confused or wobbly if she's not getting enough water. If she doesn't enjoy drinking plain water, unsweetened herbal tea and fruits and vegetables with high water content can help with hydration while still being tasty.
Hunger or Malnutrition.
Like dehydration, hunger can make your senior more susceptible to a fall. Being hungry because your senior has skipped lunch and longer-term hunger from malnutrition can have some of the same effects. Help your senior to eat regular, healthy meals more often by either taking over meal preparation for her or by hiring elderly care providers to handle meals for her.
Addressing as many potential fall risks as possible can help you to keep your senior from taking a tumble. Work with elderly care providers to eliminate as many of these possible fall risks as you can.