Owners' Blog

Four Ways that Personal Care Tasks Could Contribute to Falls

By Hilary and Greg Eldridge

You might not realize it, but your senior could be more likely to fall when she’s managing personal care tasks, like dressing or bathing, than she is at other times. There are reasons for this and more importantly, there are ways that you can help her to avoid falling.

Your Senior Is Vulnerable

Personal care tasks like dressing or bathing are times in which your senior is really rather vulnerable. She’s likely to be in a state of at least partial undress and that can make her nervous and anxious. There’s a lot that may be more difficult now than it used to be, which can make her try to hurry. All of this combines to create a situation that can be extremely dangerous for your senior.

Water That’s Too Hot Can Be a Big Issue

While she’s bathing, water that’s too hot might be making the entire situation worse. Showering and bathing are already a slippery situation, but hot water can make her jolt away from the water source, which can send her off balance. If she wears corrective eyewear, even if they’re contacts, hot water and the steam it produces can cause her eyes to be irritated and interfere with her ability to gauge distances. Double check the temperature at the hot water heater itself and consider lowering the temperature by a few degrees.

Transfers Are Tricky

Very often aging family members use assistive tools, like a walker or even a wheelchair. These items help her mobility, but they can also make regular daily hygiene activities difficult or dangerous. Having assistance from home care providers if your elderly family member uses these types of devices can be a crucial part of helping her to avoid a bathroom fall.

She May Be Afraid, Which Makes it All Worse

Something that tends to get overlooked is that fear makes a fall more likely. Your senior might be worried about having almost fallen in the past and that can make her more prone to slip now rather than more careful. If she’s feeling secure, though, that’s a lot less likely to be a problem for her. Help from home care providers can be instrumental in building up your senior’s confidence in what she can do.

It’s tough for anyone to accept help during these vulnerable moments, especially from a stranger. But your elderly family member might find that the professional and experienced help she gets from elder care providers is exactly what she needs.

If you or an aging loved one is considering hiring home care in Stone Mountain, GA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers, call (678) 430-8511.