Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Prevention of falls for seniors (contd)

• Another way through which you can help seniors from tripping is by making hallways, stairs and walkways free of objects. Sometimes even small pieces of papers can cause a fall especially if their surface is slippery.
• Try removing the scatter rugs. If you fail to do so, then it would be ideal on your part to secure the rags to the floor using heavy duty and double-sided tape. You don’t have to wander hither and thither in search of these, simply walk up to any hardware store and order for one!
• You can play safe with the stairways if you paint a white strip (ensure the measurement is somewhere around two inch) on the top of the each step’s edge. Try using a gritty paint as it helps your seniors in staying more surefooted while they move up as well as down. This isn’t all…seniors are at a greater risk to fall from the carpeted steps as well. But you can avoid this problem if you use white colored non-skid tape.
• Keep an eye on the electrical cords and make sure they don’t obstruct any foot paths. Don’t overcrowd the cabinets, bookcases and shelves. And make sure they aren’t too high. This approach will prevent the seniors from using a stepladder or stool while taking off things from the cabinets, bookcases and shelves. Try placing a chair or bench close to the entrances as this will provide you a secure and handy place for setting down bags, or sitting down while slipping your shoes on as well as off.
• Get their vision and hearing checked on a routine basis. In other words, start the check ups even before noticing problems. Consult with the doctor about the drug therapy for ensuring that after taking it you won’t feel dizzy.
• Elderly people should avoid standing up quickly as this may make you feel dizzy and probably fall. Prior to standing, try wiggling your feet and toes and swing your legs, if needed. Try exercising on a routine basis as this helps in strengthening your muscles as well as improving your agility. However, prior to this make sure you consult your doctor.
• Before standing up, try moving enough so that your blood pressure and heart rate increases. And last but not the least elderly people should limit their consumption of alcohol.

With aging, the risk for falling goes on increasing. It is true that most of the falls lead to minor injuries, but at the same time nearly ten to fifty percent lead to fractures as well as other serious injuries. Falls may take place anywhere, but a senor may more commonly experience it in the home. To be more specific, falls are likely to take place while getting out or climbing the bathtub.
In addition to elderly people, people suffering from weakness in legs or feet, problems with balance and walking, arthritis, particularly in the knee, problems with vision or hearing, dementia, low blood pressure, dehydration also run at a greater risk of developing falls. In a nutshell, the more risk factor a person is prone to, the more are their chances of falls.


Prevention of falls for seniors

Do you know that nearly fifty percent of the falls experienced by seniors take place in the home itself? Because of this high rate, care should be taken to avoid your own senior from becoming a victim. Follow the suggestions which I will list below to help in the prevention of falls for seniors in the house.
With aging, the risk for falling increases because their senses dim and nervous systems tends to deteriorate. Elderly people often suffer from weakened vision and the balance mechanism in their ears becomes less accurate. The sedentary lifestyle of theirs may lead to muscle loss, thereby leading to falls. In seniors, even a minor fall may at times lead to fractured bones.
Now without beating about the bush, let us divert our attention on how to make our home a safe to live in place for seniors:

• Bathroom: This is a risk prone place! A lot of falls usually take place in the bathroom because of its nature to become wet easily. It is then necessary and advisable to set up bath benches in the bathroom so that seniors are at a lower risk of slipping. Also arrange for toilet risers, toilet safety frames, grab bars and tub and shower treads. The bottom line is that the bathroom should be made slip-proof. Adding steady support in case of slippery situations is very necessary. Non-slip strips need to be installed on the shower floor or tub. In addition to this, non-skid mats need to be placed on the floors of the bathroom. Grab bars are also necessary for balance.
• Falls among seniors can also be a result of dim light or poor vision, particularly in areas such as basements and stairways. So how can one avoid that? Well, the first step lies in installing brighter light bulbs throughout your house. Better to opt for bulbs with greater longevity for economic and safety reasons. Opt for bright lights for your bedrooms, bathrooms, stairwells and hallways. While new fluorescent bulbs may have a greater longevity as compared to the conventional incandescents, many people do not like the lights they deliver.
• Go for motion-sensor switches which turn on lights automatically while entering an area. You can also go for light switches which glow; hence making their visibility easier during the dark.
• Night lights should be installed close to the floor to lower the chances of falling or tripping while paying a visit to the bathroom during the nighttime.
• Another way through which you can help seniors from tripping is by making hallways, stairs and walkways free of objects. Sometimes even small pieces of papers can cause a fall especially if their surface is slippery.