“There is no illusion greater than fear.”—Lao Tzu.
For those seniors who have experienced a fall, the fear of falling again feels very real. It, in fact, is so prevalent that those who fall once are twice as likely to fall again as those that have never had this experience. Falling, particularly when one is elderly, leaves one feeling vulnerable. If the fall resulted in an injury, fear can result in near paralysis and ultimately, isolation.
Helping your Parent Live Fearlessly.
While it may take some time following a fall to regain one’s confidence and esteem, it is possible. In fact, incorporating a few changes into your parent’s lifestyle and activities may leave them feeling stronger and more capable than they have in quite some time. Help your parent undertake a few of these fall prevention tips and watch their spirit regain its sense of freedom.
- The first step is to make an appointment with their primary health care provider. Many seniors do not report a fall if they feel they have not been injured. Yet, there are many diseases, medications, and other physical or mental concerns such as failing eyesight that can cause a fall. Addressing these and getting to the core issue is the only way to help keep your loved one truly safe.
- Provide a safe haven in your parent’s home. This includes removing any tripping or slipping hazards such as throw rugs, wires crossing pathways, clutter, and furniture that is intruding into commonly used walkways. Make sure their home is well lit and consider installing motion sensor lighting or nightlights. Place regularly used items in easy to reach areas and install grab bars in strategic places such as in the shower and by the toilet.
- Have your loved one assessed by a physical therapist who can determine if they would benefit from a mobility device such as a walker or cane. They can also fit them for the device which is essential to preventing falls.
- A strong body with good balance is one of the best fall prevention tools. There are several programs designed to reduce the chance of a fall. These include A Matter of Balance, FallsTalk, The Otago Exercise Program, SAIL and Tai Chi to name a few. Schedule in 30 minutes of exercise at least 5 days a week and help them stick to it by finding an activity that they love.
- Strong bones are important to a strong body. Make sure they are receiving plenty of calcium and magnesium. Check with their primary care provider to see if they should be taking a supplement.
Elder Care Provider.
An elder care provider can assist your loved one with everyday activities. They can help keep your loved one safe at home and provide transportation to classes and other activities. They can accompany your parent on walks and provide the ultimate in care: companionship.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Raleigh, NC or the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at HomeChoice Home Care Services. Call today (919) 847-5622