When you’re caring for an elderly loved one, you may have concerns that he or she will become injured by falling in the home. After all, one in three adults over the age of 65 will suffer a serious fall this year, and 70% of them happen at home.
As a caregiver, it’s a good idea to be aware of signs that can indicate your loved one is at risk for falling. Ask yourself:
- Does the person hold onto furniture or walls to stay balanced?
- Does the person shuffle his or her feet, stumble or trip when walking?
- Does the person lean to one side or lean forward when walking?
- Does the person need help when walking around, either from a person or a device, such as a cane or walker?
If you answered “yes” to the questions above, there are things you can do around the home to help lower the risk of falls for your loved one:
- Remove clutter on the floor
- Secure loose rugs
- Move and tape down the wiring
- Improve lighting
- Install grab bars in the bathroom
Even though there’s much as you can do to keep your loved one safe, there is no reason to do it alone. Registered nurses and physical therapists can perform risk assessments for your loved one and catch what you, as a caregiver, may not see or even know about.
About our guest blogger: The Visiting Nurse Service of New York’s Strong Foundations service offers at-home evaluations, performed by a registered nurse and physical therapist to spot risks and propose solutions. To learn more, go towww.vnsny.org/strongfoundations.