As we get older, we are more prone to suffering from falls that can lead to injuries or other catastrophic complications. According to the National Council of Aging, one in four elderly Americans fall each year and a senior is treated in an emergency room for fall related injuries every 11 seconds. Falls have also been responsible for over 800,000 hospitalizations and the death of 27,000 people. It is believed that seniors are at a higher risk of suffering a fall due to their lack of balance, their deteriorated muscles or joints and their overall lack of ability to walk or stand without needing assistance. Falls may result in hip fractures, broken bones and a perpetual fear of moving or getting out of bed by the elderly adult.
Seniors usually experience a fall due to lack of support or a cluttered environment that is detrimental to their health and their chances of falling. Falls can happen often, especially if the dangerous environment is not fixed after the risk has been detected. Fall proofing a home and making appropriate home modifications for people age 65 and older can help prevent falls, as well as give them a healthier environment to live in. Other simple modifications to insure your elderly loved one does not have a high risk of falling are to install grab bars along the railings of the home, to clear clutter from the pathways they walk everyday and to ensure that they are wearing the proper clothing and footwear to prevent falls.
Perhaps one of the best ways to help an elderly family member or friend is to hire a professional in-home caregiver to be their first line of defense against a fall. An in-home caregiver can be beneficial for the individual 65 years of age or older, as well as both the families and friends of the senior. A caregiver can help prevent falls by doing the following:
- Cleaning up extra excess around the house can allow the senior to freely move about their home without fear of tripping over a rug, clutter or having to step over something. A caregiver can provide light housekeeping services to ensure that the individual aged 65 years or older feels safe and maintains an environment conducive to healthy aging at home.
- Not only will a caregiver clear the clutter from a senior’s home, but he or she can help ensure that they are walking, standing and sitting in a safe manner to prevent falls. Having an extra set of eyes on an elderly individual can help prevent falls, as seniors may not realize they are at risk for a fall. Caregivers can be there to physically assist the elderly patient to and from their destination or simply can serve as an extra set of eyes and hands should they need them.
Unfortunately, falls sometimes do happen for people age 65 and older. If an elderly person has suffered a fall, it is important to make sure he or she is prepared to continue to remain safe and to prevent readmission to the hospital due to another fall. If a senior has experienced a fall, a caregiver can be the right fit for their prescribed care plan. If an elderly person has experienced a fall, consider hiring an in-home caregiver to prevent another fall by doing the following:
When a senior is discharged from the hospital after a fall related injury, he or she likely has been sent home with a prescribed care plan from the medical professional they were working with in the hospital. This care plan can be anything from medication that they should be taking on a daily basis to the amount of physical therapy that he or she needs in order to rebuild their bone and muscle strength. A caregiver can not only make sure that the elderly individual is taking his or her medication at the appropriate time and in the appropriate dosage, but they can ensure that they are complying with all other prescribed care plan components. A caregiver can assist with transportation to and from physical therapy appointments, doctors’ appointments and from social visits. In addition to providing transportation assistance, a caregiver can ensure that the senior is eating a healthy diet, which complies with the orders from their doctor to repair any damage that may have been done to their body and build up muscle and bone strength as well.
A caregiver can also serve as a front of the line protector to prevent an individual from falling again. If an elderly individual suffers yet another fall, he or she may hurt themselves more and end up in the hospital for a prolonged period of time. This will be detrimental to their health and their wallet alike, leaving little room to enjoy life the way they should in their golden years.
An in-home caregiver can help individuals prevent falls and fall-related injuries, as well as those who have suffered a recent fall. In-home caregivers can serve as a safeguard to protect loved ones from suffering very serious fall-related injuries that can be costly to their health and their financial well-being. Allow a caregiver to help prevent falls by caring for your loved ones the way they deserve.