Depending on a number of circumstances, if you answer “yes” to any ONE of the questions below, either for yourself or for your loved one, there could be a significant risk of falling. A fall can change the course of a life due to fracture, subsequent hospitalization, and loss of independence. Not everyone who falls sustains a serious injury but if there have been previous falls, there will likely be more.
Sometimes simply adding some grab bars, removing scatter rugs and ‘other tripping hazards can make a difference. Sometimes attending a balance class adds stability to ambulation and other times a look at medications is in order. It is always better to be safe and cautious before a fall happens, rather than regret that the risk went unnoticed or unaddressed. Dealing with the aftermath of a fall, particularly with a senior, is much more serious and difficult than taking precautions.
Do you or your loved one…
- experience lightheadedness or dizziness upon standing?
- have experience falling or nearly falling in the past year?
- take four or more medications?
- take medication for sleep, anxiety, depression, or pain?
- worry about falling?
- wear bifocal or trifocals?
- have a sedentary lifestyle?
- have vision better in one eye than the other?
- feel unsteady in the supermarket aisle?
- feel off-balance when trying to walk in a straight line?
- shuffle your feet when you walk?
- find it hard to move your feet sometimes?
- experience numbness or tingling in your feet?
- find uneven surfaces or walking in the dark difficult?
- when lying down or tilting your head back, experience a spinning sensation or dizziness?
Steps you can take to minimize risk and create a safe environment include contacting a senior home modification specialist, researching information about falls online, talking to an in-home care agency, eldercare manager, caregiver, or physician. You also might want to research classes in your area that focus on improving stability and balance.
For some additional information, please read our blog on Bathroom Safety.
If you have any questions or would like to be in touch with a Senior Care Authority Advisor in your area call (888)854-3910 for a no-cost phone consultation. We have many resources to share with you. You can also find a local advisor on our website at www.seniorcareauthority.com.
Marcy Baskin is an Elder Care Manager, and Managing Director of Senior Care Authority. She is also the author of Assisted Living: Questions I Wish I Had Asked.