Senior Care Tips – 7 Ways to Prevent Falls in Elderly Patients

Among the elderly, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths and the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital visits. Of all fall-related fractures, hip breaks lead to the most severe health problems and reduced quality of life – limited mobility, reduced independence and lengthy hospital stays.

Seniors are the most rapidly growing population in British Columbia and, without intervention, the number of fall-related injuries among them will continue to rise. The good news is that many falls and the injuries are preventable. Our team of senior care specialists in the Vancouver, South Surrey, Surrey, Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley and White Rock areas share a list of 7 precautions (tips) all caregivers can take in order to prevent falls for elderly patients:

 

Re-evaluate Medication Usage

Senior Care Tips in Greater Vancouver Area

Make note of all the prescription and over-the-counter drugs and vitamins that the senior is taking. Notify the doctor of the exact time the fall occurred and under what circumstances. Some medications to look out for include sedatives and antidepressants as they make the patient feel drowsy and lightheaded. The doctor will then review the medications for side effects and interactions, which may have increased the risk of falling.

 

Stay Physically Active

Senior Care Tips in Greater Vancouver Area

Physical activity is one of the easiest ways to prevent falls. With your doctor’s permission, consider activities such as walking, water workouts, and yoga — gentle exercises that entail slow and peaceful movements. Such activities reduce the risk of falls by enhancing vigor, stability, coordination, and flexibility. If they avoid physical activity because they are afraid it will make a fall more likely, tell the doctor. He or she may recommend carefully monitored exercises or refer them to a physical therapist.

 

Identify and Repair or Remove Hazards

Senior Care Tips in Greater Vancouver Area

Sometimes home fixtures can contribute to falls, which can then lead to back pain and other injuries. Peruse every room and hallway, looking for items such as loose carpet, slippery throw rugs, or wood floorboards that can be tripping hazards. Then repair, remove, or replace those things for ones that will not be tripping hazards.

 

Frequent Visits to the Optometrist

Senior Care Tips in Greater Vancouver Area

If your older loved one or client wears glasses, make sure that they are using the most current prescription and they’re using the glasses as indicated by their prescriber. Frequent visits to the optometrist may be recommended. Take extra precaution when using tint-changing lenses as they can be hazardous when going from the outside to the inside. Bifocals also can be problematic on stairs, so it is important to take extra precaution there too.

 

Notice their Walking Patterns

Senior Care Tips in Greater Vancouver Area

Does your senior hold on to walls or furniture when walking? Do they have difficulty rising from a chair or bed? Do they bump into things when moving around the house? If yes, you may want to consult a physiotherapist. A trained physical therapist can help your older loved one or client improve their balance, strength, and gait through exercise. They might also suggest a cane or walker—and provide guidance on how to move forward. Poorly fitted aids actually can increase the risk of falling.

 

Pet Handling

Senior Care Tips in Greater Vancouver Area

If you have pets, keep them in one place at night. Train the pets not to jump or get underfoot. Think about buying a collar with a bell so the loved one or client will know when your pet is nearby.

 

Improve Accessibility

Senior Care Tips in Greater Vancouver Area

By accessibility, we make making sure that all commonly used items are within easy reach in areas like the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom etc. This is especially important in the bathroom where if soap, shampoo, conditioner are not within easy reach slips can easily happen. The same goes for bedrooms. It is well advised to keep a flash light and phone near the bed at all times, especially during the night when it is dark and visibility is low.

At Ace Personnel, we are a 5 star BBB company and for over 35 years have helped countless families find home care for their elderly loved ones in and around Vancouver, Surrey, South Surrey, White Rock Lower Mainland, and Fraser Valley, British Columbia. We would be pleased to discuss placing the perfect caregiver for your individual situation. Please visit us online at our website today.

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