Winter isn’t over yet and that means more winter weather conditions could be on the way. Unfortunately, falling is very common for seniors. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “one in four Americans aged 65+ falls each year.” During the winter months, many seniors are at risk of falling or losing balance because of the cold temperatures and slick walkways. There are steps seniors can take to reduce their chances of falling or getting injured. Here are the best ways to ensure safety for you or your senior.
Visit Your Doctor
If you’re feeling dizzy or have a history of falling, make an appointment to see your doctor. Sometimes a mix of medications or the dosage can cause side effects that can make you more prone to falling. If you or your senior have a hard time keeping your medications organized or remembering to take them, ask for some assistance. Many retirement communities have nurses available to help sort and organize medications.
Assess Your Home
There are many modifications that can be made to your home to make it safer.
- Consider installing grab bars in hallways and in the bathroom near your tub or shower. Grab bars are great for seniors who have trouble walking, or who use the restroom during the nighttime when it’s dark.
- Make sure your space is well lit. Falling can happen at any time, but chances of falling increases when visibility is limited. Install lights near staircases, door entrances, and in hallways. Night-lights are great for hallways and in bedrooms too.
- Falls can happen when reaching for items such as kitchen appliances. Consider reorganizing your kitchen and bathroom so all of your most commonly used items are within reach. Standing on stools and chairs is dangerous and can put you or your loved one at risk for falling.
- Always keep your house or apartment clear of clutter and unused items. Things like hampers, baskets, or boxes on floors increased the probability of falls and can be dangerous for seniors.
Wear Safe Shoes
Many older adults fall due to wearing the wrong type of shoes. Pick shoes that have a sturdy rubber bottom and a lot of grip. Wide shoes help keep seniors steady on their feet while staying balanced.
Occupational therapists can always give seniors tips on how to stay balanced. Modifying the way we walk, sit, and sleep can help keep us upright and far away from falling. Many retirement homes have clinics with visiting or full-time occupational therapists, so give your information desk a call to see what’s available.
Our Carespring Skilled Nursing, Rehabilitation and Nursing Home facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky always want our patients to stay safe and healthy!