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How to Reduce the Risk of Falling for Older Adults

As individuals enter the elderly stages of life, the risk and consequences of falling greatly increases. That probably does not surprise anybody, but what is surprising is that most people are not taking the necessary steps to ensure safety. Below are a few questions and precautions to take into consideration concerning an individual who is at risk of falling.

Health and Safety Home Assessment

Do you or a loved one take four or more medications daily?

Multiple medications can cause dizziness, drowsiness and balance problems. It is important to have all of your medications reviewed at least one a year by a pharmacist or doctor.

 

Have you or those around you noticed a change in hearing?

                  Dizziness can occur with hearing loss. Set up an appointment to have your hearing checked.

 

Have you or those around you noticed a change in vision?

Seeing obstacles is the first step in avoiding a fall. Keep your glasses clean. Have your eyes examined once a year.

 

Do you or a loved one wear floppy slippers or a long bathrobe?

Wear well-fitted slippers with non-skid soles. Avoid night clothing that drags on the ground. Keep robe tied.

 

Throw rugs?

Throw rugs pose a tripping hazard. They should be tacked down or removed.

 

Stairs without rails?

Using sturdy hand rails to go up and down stairs is easier and safer. Add hand rails to all stairs, if possible.

 

Clutter in your walking space?

Clutter such as shoes, electrical cords and magazines are a safety hazard. Keep pathways clear.

 

Dark hallways or stairwells?

Good lighting can reduce the chance of falling. Consider adding night lights where overhead lighting is lacking. Add strips of bright tape to the edge of each stair. Always keep a charged flashlight near your bed for emergencies. A night light in the bathroom can also make night trips to the bathroom safer.

 

 

 

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

  1. Reaching Overhead?

Put commonly used things on shelves that are easy to reach. If you must reach overhead, keep a sturdy stool handy.

  1. Picking up objects from the floor?

Plan ahead. Move the object closer to something sturdy to hold on to.

  1. Getting in and out of the bathtub?

Add grab bars to the walls or use a tub seat to assist with bathing. Non-skid tub mats and a hand-held shower head can also be useful.

  1. Getting in and out of a chair?

Avoid sitting on low furniture. Chairs with arms make it easier to get up.

  1. Walking without holding on to something?

If you feel unsteady without holding onto something, you may need a cane. Consult your doctor or heath care provider. FBN

 

By Jordan Fox

Visiting Angels of Flagstaff is the leader in Dementia and Alzheimer’s specialized care. Serving Flagstaff, Williams, Winslow, Payson and Show Low. For more information regarding home care and living assistance services visiting our website visitingangels.com/flagstaff.

You can also contact the director of the Flagstaff Office, Jordan Fox, at jfox@visitingangels.com or call the office at 928-220-4100. The office is located at 718 N. Humphreys St. Ste 201, Flagstaff, AZ 86001.

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