November is a particularly special month for seniors. It’s Fall Prevention Month! And while everyone knows that seniors aren’t the only individuals who are susceptible to slips and falls, they do join children under the age of five as the top two groups that are most at risk of falling.
According to the Fall Prevention Month website, “Fall Prevention Month encourages organizations to coordinate their efforts for a larger impact. Canadian organizations participate by planning initiatives and sharing evidence-based information on fall prevention. Together we can raise the profile of fall prevention and help everyone see their role in keeping adults and children safe as they age.”
So what can you do to help prevent your elderly loved one from falling? Here are three suggestions:
1. Improve the lighting in your home.
If you can’t see what’s in front of you, you’re a lot more likely to trip and fall over something. Good lighting is essential in a home where a senior citizen lives. Not only is it imperative to clear all walkways of tripping hazards, it’s important to ensure that all light bulbs are fully functioning. Your elderly loved one needs to see any and all potential obstacles.
“Many falls in the senior community occur because of vision problems or limitations, but some of these risks can be reduced by using adequate lighting and making sure that lighting is working properly,” notes Aging.com, “Good lighting can help even those without diagnosed vision problems, and the reverse is also true: even if you have excellent vision, poor lighting can put you at risk for a fall by obscuring obstacles or making even clutter-free areas more difficult to navigate.”
2. Work on core strengthening.
Your elderly loved one’s body has experienced physical changes that impact his/her mobility and balance. As a result, he/she is more likely to slip and fall. According to Dr. Ryan Davey of Toronto Physiotherapy on SeniorsForSeniors.ca, a senior citizen living in North America has a one in three chance of having at least one fall per year. He believes that getting seniors to strengthen their cores will help to better their chances of staying upright.
“Your core is the group of muscles that make up the lower portion of your trunk, which includes your abdominals, buttocks, low back and pelvic floor muscles,” Dr. Davey explains, “The core helps to maintain stability and thereby better control the movements of your upper and lower limbs…Studies in seniors suggest that core strengthening could offer major improvements in movement patterns and physical function in day to day life, including fall prevention.”
3. Wear appropriately fitted clothing.
Is the clothing worn by your elderly loved one too tight? Aging.com notes that tight clothing can both heat up too fast and restrict blood flow. This can result in an older adult losing short term mental capacity or motor skills. Don’t assume that extremely loose clothing is any better. It can also put a senior at risk of having the clothing get caught on doors, windows or furniture, causing a fall.
At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we specialize in offering seniors solutions that will help them to avoid slipping and falling. If you have any questions about the mobility solutions we offer, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 403-460-5438. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact page!