5 Ways Older Adults Can Avoid Fall Hazards
Falls can be extremely dangerous for older adults, especially if they live alone, have existing injuries or limited mobility. While falls can happen anywhere, there are precautions you can take with your loved ones to ensure their homes and other surrounding areas are as safe as possible.
It’s important to understand that some older adults may be resistant to having a conversation about fall hazards. They may view it as an infringement on their independence and their ability to live alone.
So rather than forcing the issue, we recommend using the following talking points to start the conversation with your senior family member:
- How is your vision and are your glasses or lenses up to date? As anyone who wears glasses or contact lenses knows, your vision can begin to get slightly blurry and can easily go unnoticed until the blurriness is significant. It’s important for all of us to have regular eye exams, especially older adults, because vision problems like nearsightedness, along with outdated glasses or contact lenses are common fall hazards.
- How sturdy are your shoes and do they fit properly? Ill-fitting shoes and shoes with unsturdy soles can be fall hazards for older adults. Check in with your older loved ones and ensure their shoes fit snugly, and that the soles have some type of traction on them. It may be worth investing in shoes with special anti-slip soles.
- How well-trained are your pets? We all love our furry friends, but untrained dogs can easily run underfoot and cause a fall. Enrolling a pet in obedience school can go a long way toward safety. It’s also important that older adults are aware of where their pet is at all times. Tying a small bell to their collar is an easy way to maintain awareness.
- What medications are you using and how do they make you feel? Some medications may cause side effects that can make anyone more susceptible to falling like lightheadedness, drowsiness, balance issues, and having to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. Make note of how each medication makes your senior family member feel and ask their doctor if it’s possible to minimize unpleasant side effects.
- Do you have any pain or soreness in your feet? It’s easy to focus on external factors like pets, shoes, and medications, but foot pain is a major fall hazard for seniors. A trusted podiatrist can recommend different measures for pain relief.
Safety in assisted living
When the risk of a fall becomes too great, it may be time for your senior family member to consider moving into an assisted living community. At UMC, we understand that many older adults resist the idea because they view themselves as capable and independent.
However, the preconceived notions they have about living in a nursing home are outdated and no longer true! At our senior community in Bristol Glen, residents retain their individuality, continue pursuing their hobbies and interests, and are encouraged to live independently, all within a safe and comfortable environment.
We have associates onsite around the clock to monitor medications, check in on our residents, and respond to any medical issues or emergencies. In a senior community setting, resident safety is the top priority.
For more information about UMC at Bristol Glen, or any of our other communities across New Jersey, please contact United Methodist Communities today at: https://umcommunities.org/bristolglen/contact