Sep 11, 2017 by Diane Genovese
Our goal at Comfort Keepers is to keep our senior clients independent in their homes. This goal is driven with “safety” as the key component. In a heartbeat, a fall can occur that may or may not result in broken bones but for an elderly person it can be a setback that can be life changing as far as them being able to maintain living in their homes. The effect of falls can be devastating both physically and financially.
Medications are often the culprit for falls. It is a good practice to ask your doctor about the side effects of each drug you are taking so you are aware of what to expect and be sure to report them to him/her. Also share this information with your family and caregiver. Certain drugs can cause the blood pressure to lower which when getting up out of a chair or bed too quickly may cause dizziness or fainting. Try to get up slowly, especially in the middle of the night, sit on the edge of the bed a moment and then rise slowly to get your bearings.
Walkers, canes and other assistive devices are the very tools needed in falls prevention.
Floppy slippers and shoes with slick soles can be a hazard. Often older adults tend to shuffle more than pick up their feet which makes tripping a real possibility especially on uneven pavement. It is very common for our seniors to attempt to do a task that they have done their entire life when these very tasks now put them at risk for falling. For example, just one step up on a stool or ladder is extremely dangerous for older adults, who do not have the strength and balance of previous years. Encourage your loved ones to please ask a family member or caregiver to change a light bulb or reach items in cabinets that are too high. Electrical cords running across walkways, clutter or too many throw rugs are an accident waiting to happen. Railings on stairs, grab bars in the bathroom and adequate light are all easy fixes for prevention. It takes our eyes a while to adjust between darkness and light, therefore, adequate lighting is a must.
Upon sign up for services with Comfort Keepers, a home environment assessment is done to offer the families ideas of how to take precautions against their loved one falling. This is a thorough checklist of potential conditions and/or methods to assist in prevention of injuries due to falls. Living well encompasses many aspects that in-home care can enhance. These aspects include mental, physical, nutritional and “Safety” considerations. We offer technology solutions, such as a Personal Emergency Response System, a fall detector, and a medication management system, all designed to increase safety.