My husband’s grandmother had a terrible experience just a few months ago. She had fallen in her tight bathroom and wasn’t able to get up for 10+ hours. Unable to reach for the phone and not owning an assistive device, she was not found until her daughter went over for their nightly dinner.
Falls are the leading cause of serious injury according to the Mayo Clinic. As your client gets older and physical and medical conditions change, elderly clients may become a little unsteady as time goes on. There are several steps that you can take in preventing falls in seniors.
Brighten Living Spaces
By brightening the living spaces of your client, they can avoid tripping over objects are hard to see. You might want to place a lamp, or nightlight in the dim area. This could be in a bathroom, hallways, or even in the bedroom for their middle of the night needs. In case of a power outage, store flashlights in easy to find/reach places. Looking into battery powered nightlights might be a solution as well when the power goes out.
Check Your Soles
Make sure your client has shoes that prevent them from taking that dreaded fall. Acquiring shoes with a non-slip sole is a great way to prevent falls from happening. Shoes that are too big can also cause people to be clumsy. Wear properly fitting shoes with nonslip soles. In the case that your client wears socks or slippers, make sure that you get socks or slippers with the rubber grip pads so the client can walk without the fear of falling. The right pair of shoes may also help improve posture which can help with balance issues.
Oftentimes, physical activity can also aid in fall prevention. If the client can and has a physician’s approval, consider gentle exercise such as water aerobics, or talking walks. By doing these simple things you can help improve flexibility, strength, and balance. It also is a great activity to do with your client to strengthen your relationship.
See A Doctor
Sometimes you may have to suggest that your client sees a doctor. Several conditions may cause falling or the type of medication they are on. Seeing a health professional would give your client insight and an easier solution to what you need to do to help their falling issue, especially if they have fallen before. A doctor might recommend using an assistive device.
This can just be a part of getting older, but there can be ways to prevent it so it doesn’t happen frequently or at all. Remember, if it does happen to keep your client calm so they do not panic. If you are unable to help them up, call 911 so that your client can get emergency care.