Approximately one-third of the elderly that are over 65 years old fall each year, and by the time they reach 80, this number increases to one-half. These numbers are likely much higher than this, however, as many people may not report their fall to a doctor or hospital. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prevent your elderly parent from falling in their home. Follow the tips below, and you won't have to worry about getting that dreaded phone call.
Why they Fall
The first thing you should do is to take your elderly parent to a doctor if they have fallen in the past, or if they seem unstable or dizzy. There are many medical reasons why they may be doing this. They could have something like low blood sugar, adverse side effect from medicine they are taking, or vestibular migraines.
They could also have vertigo, which is often caused by inflammation of the inner ear, also known as acute vestibular neuritis. Your parent could have an increase of fluid in their inner ear, which is known as Meniere's disease.
Once your elderly parent is treated for the problem they are having, this will greatly reduce their chances of falling.
Your parent could fall because of their balance and gait. It is common to lose some coordination, balance, and flexibility as they age. Make sure they have their vision checked regularly. As a person gets older, less light reaches the retina, which makes obstacles and tripping hazards more difficult to see.
Walk through your elderly parent's home. Look at the lighting, especially at the bottom and top of stairs. It should be bright enough for them to see properly in every room. They should also have easy access to a light if they get up in the middle of the night, such as a bedside lamp. You also may want to consider using nightlights to add even more light.
If there are stairs, make sure the rails are secure. Install grab bars near the toilet and the tub/shower. They should be installed at the right height for your parent to use them properly. Purchase a shower chair and hand held shower for your parent to be safe while they are in the shower.
You may want to consider in home care if your parent still has problems falling. This care could be someone living with them full-time or someone that visits with them a few times per week. Learn more by contacting an in home care service or clicking here.