Injuries suffered due to falls are some of the biggest health risks to elders, at home or in a skilled nursing facility. From broken bones to head trauma, falls can cause significant pain and suffering, hospitalization, and subsequent complications. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the risk of falls. At Green House Homes at Mirasol, we act on all of them to help keep elders safe.
Reducing the Fall Risk
There are many environmental and health conditions that can make it more likely that an elder will suffer a fall. However, caregivers can address each so that the risk is minimized. Here are some of the ways that loved ones at home or skilled nursing providers can help keep elders safe:
- Proper lighting. An environment that is either too dark or too bright can make it difficult for an elder to see changes in the walking surface that pose a tripping hazard. So, care providers should be sure to install proper lighting.
- Secure, wrinkle-free flooring. Rugs that can slide or bunch up into raised ridges pose a serious tripping risk. So do abrupt transitions from a flooring surface of one height to another, such as from hardwood to thick carpet. Ensuring that flooring is secure, free of wrinkles and ridges, and with minimal changes in height is key.
- Clutter-free walking spaces. Objects left on the floor in areas where elders will be walking are a danger. Consequently, it should never be assumed that people will see the items and navigate around them.
- Handrails. In areas where elders will be going from standing to sitting, it’s important to have sturdy handrails they can use as they make the transition. Beside toilets and stairways are two of the critical spots.
- Sturdy, tip-resistant furniture. Elders often lean on furniture as they move around their home, and also tend to put weight onto it as they sit or stand. So, furniture should be strong, have a wide base that prevents tipping, and not be prone to sliding when pushed.
- Appropriate footwear. While a thick pair of socks may be comfortable, the lack of traction can be a problem. Consequently, elders should wear shoes or slippers with gripping soles when walking around the house.
- Proper prescriptions. Medication, or the combination of multiple medications, can affect an elder’s balance, increasing their risk of a fall. Elders and their loved ones should work closely with the person’s doctor to ensure that medication is prescribed at levels and in combinations that don’t impair movement.
- Vision correction. Elders who have poor vision may have trouble seeing obstacles and tripping hazards. Therefore, ensuring that they visit the eye doctor as needed can be very helpful.
Keeping Our Elders Safe
Elders in skilled nursing communities rely on their care providers to watch out for them. At Green House Homes at Mirasol, ensuring the safety and wellness of those we care for is our top priority. Consequently, we do all we can to minimize fall risks so that they can move about freely and their families can have peace of mind.
October/11/2017 | News