One out of three American seniors will fall each year, leading to injuries, hospital admissions, and even death in some cases. Falls can occur for a variety of reasons, many of which are preventable. Birmingham home care experts discuss some of the most common reasons why seniors fall and offer a few tips for reducing your aging loved one’s risk.
Alzheimer’s, arthritis, Parkinson’s, and other age-related diseases can cause poor grip strength, balance disorders, and weakness in the extremities, all of which can increase the risk of falling. However, your loved one can reduce this risk by eating a healthy diet, participating in brain stimulating activities, and making lifestyle changes that strengthen the body and benefit his or her overall health.
Lack of Physical Activity
Failing to get enough exercise can result in weak muscles, loss of balance, reduced flexibility, and decreased bone mass, causing your loved one to fall and become seriously injured. Encourage your loved one to exercise at least 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week by going for walks in the park, working in the garden, swimming, doing aerobics, or participating in other physical activities appropriate for seniors.
As your loved one ages, his or her vision will not be as strong as it was when he or she was younger, which can increase the risk of falling. Be sure to remove all throw rugs, mats, and clutter from your loved one’s home, place the furniture in areas that do not block hallways or walkways, and make sure the lighting is bright enough for him or her to see at all times.
If your loved one is taking medications for depression, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, or other age-related illness, he or she is at a higher risk of falling. The side effects of medications often cause falls because they directly affect balance. Let the doctor know if your loved one’s medication is causing him or her to feel dizzy and lose balance. Your loved one’s doctor may be able to prescribe alternative medications or other forms of treatment that do not include medicine.
If you are concerned about your loved one’s safety while he or she ages in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can assist with mobility and exercise, provide medication reminders, and help with many important daily tasks. In addition to our live-in and respite care services, we also offer comprehensive Parkinson’s, post-stroke, and Alzheimer’s care Birmingham seniors can count on. For more information and to schedule a no-obligation consultation, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers today at 616-243-0835.