Fall Prevention in the Home
Did you know that three million older adults are treated in emergency rooms every year due to falls? September is Fall Prevention Awareness Month, a great time to take action – such as a starting a home care program or adjusting your home environment – to reduce the risk of falls.
Why are falls so dangerous for older adults?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in five falls results in a serious injury like a broken bone or a head injury. Falls are one of the most common problems that threaten the independence of older individuals, and nearly 60% of those who experience a fall will do so again.
What health conditions make falls more likely?
Though there are many reasons older adults experience falls, those with vision, mobility and incontinence issues are especially at risk.
How can home health care help me prevent falls?
Elara Caring’s Better Balance skilled home health program is designed to assess and address the core problems of adults who have a history of falls and/or an increased risk of falling. The in-home care team utilizes evidence-based tests to identify specific issues that may be impacting balance and then formulates an individualized and targeted care plan. If incontinence creates a fall risk, patients can also utilize our Roll for Control program.
Who would benefit from Better Balance?
Individuals with a wide range of health conditions would benefit from this program. Better Balance may be right for you if you:
- Worry about falling
- Have fallen in the last year
- Feel unsteady while walking
- Use or have been advised to use a cane or walker
- Steady yourself by holding onto furniture when walking
- Need to push with your hands to stand up from a chair
- Have trouble stepping up onto a curb
- Rush to the toilet
- Take medication that impacts sleep or balance
How can I learn more about Better Balance and home care?
Is there anything else I can do to reduce my risk of falls?
Absolutely! In addition to addressing your health concerns, your Elara Caring team will complete a home safety check and educate you on ways to stay safe at home and while participating in your day-to-day activities.
Some things you may consider are:
- Assessing your living space: Think about installing grab bars in the bathroom, securing rugs with non-slip mats or adhesive and adding motion sensor lighting to hallways and rooms you may need to access at night. These small fixes can make a big difference in home safety.
- Keeping an eye out for pets and kids: Do you have pets or babysit your grandchildren? Kids and pets bring lots of joy, but they can also contribute to falls. Make sure you know where children and pets are at all times to prevent them from jumping in front of your walking path and always clean up spill or accidents immediately to avoid slips.
- Reducing stair usage: If you have stairs, remember to grab everything you need before making a trip up or down. Reducing the number of times you use the stairs decreases the risk of falling on them. You could use a small tote to carry your water bottle, reading glasses or other items to keep trips to a minimum.
- Minding the season: Seasonal hazards such as rainy days and wet shoes, slippery leaves on sidewalks or snow and ice can cause accidents. Keeping walkways clear and wearing shoes with good tread can help keep both feet planted on the ground.
- Asking for help when you need it: Elara Caring’s skilled home health team is here to help. You can contact your local branch by phone or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.