Community Blog

Tips for Preventing Senior Falls

By Ketan Patel

Older folks are more prone to falling, and to make matters worse they don’t heal as quickly as they once did. Ongoing health issues like heart disease, diabetes and circulation issues can affect balance, and many prescribed medications cause dizziness. In addition, the senior’s coordination, muscle strength and reflexes may have diminished, and they may suffer from osteoporosis that causes brittle bones that break more easily. Unfortunately, a slip and fall can result in a dramatic change in the lifestyle of an aging senior.

Preventing Falls Around the House

It is important to keep your home neat and tidy so you don’t trip over a misplaced item. An in-home caregiver can help with housekeeping and give you a head’s up about other potential hazards.

  • Rugs and Carpets: Get rid of throw rugs and make sure that all the carpets are firmly affixed to the floor. Put non-slip strips on wood and tile flooring.
  • Stairs: Install handrails on stairs on both sides, and make sure that there are light switches at the top and the bottom.
  • Bathroom: In the bathroom, mount convenient grab bars near the tub, shower and toilet. Keep night lights on at all times.
  • Bedroom: Keep a phone at your bedside within easy reach, and make sure night lights and other light switches are near the bed.
  • Living Room: Check to see if your living room is arranged so that it is not in the way of walking areas. Telephone wires and electrical cords should be near walls, and not where you can trip over them. Chairs and sofas should be the correct height so you can get on and off without falling.

Enlist the Help of your Doctor

Talk to the doctor about the potential for falling. S/he may have recommendations for you, such as:

  • Bone Density: Your doctor may prescribe a bone density test and prescribe medication to improve your bone strength if necessary.
  • Exercise: Ask your doctor for an exercise program to improve your muscle tone and keep your joints flexible.
  • Hearing and Vision: Changes in your hearing and vision can make you more prone to falling. Check your hearing and vision regularly, and use new prescription glasses or a hearing aid if necessary.
  • Medication: Find out whether your medication is making you dizzy or affecting your balance and coordination.

General Tips to Prevent Falls

There are plenty of other common sense steps you can take to prevent falls.

  • Alcohol: Limit your alcohol intake. Alcohol can affect your reflexes as well as your balance.
  • Standing Up: Getting up quickly after lying down, resting or eating can cause your blood pressure to drop. Lowered blood pressure can make you feel faint.
  • Climate Control: Keep your home at an even temperature in hot or cold weather so you don’t get dizzy.
  • Walking Aids: Use a walker or cane to help you feel more stable when you walk, especially if there are uneven walkways.
  • Appropriate Shoes: Low heeled rubber-soled shoes with good support can help you keep your balance.

In- Home Care for Seniors  

The home care providers at Home Helpers of South Shore can help your loved one by monitoring safety, preparing meals and helping with bathing and dressing. A caregiver can provide transportation for social activities and scheduled doctor’s appointments, and help out if an emergency occurs.

Home Helpers of South Shore is owned and operated by a compassionate health professional with a strong understanding of the needs of aging seniors. Contact Home Helpers to help your aging loved one. Please fill out the form on the left and we will get in touch with you about setting up in-home health care or call us at 781-585-1244 to determine the plan that is right for you.

We serve the following communities:

Abington , Braintree , Brockton , Buzzards Bay , Carver , Cohasset, Dighton , Duxbury , Falmouth , Halifax , Hanson , Hingham , Holbrook , Hull , Humarock , Kingston , Lakeville , Marshfield , Mashpee , Middleboro , Norwell , Pembroke , Plymouth , Plympton , Quincy , Randolph , Rockland , Sandwich , Scituate , Taunton , Wareham , Weymouth , Whitman