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Senior Placement Tips on Preventing Falls

zeth@greatnessdigital.com February 21, 2024

As a senior placement agent, I see firsthand the devastating impact falls can have on older adults and their families. Fear of falling can lead to isolation, loss of independence, and a decline in overall quality of life. But the good news is, falls are largely preventable. Here’s my insider perspective on the common culprits behind falls and practical tips to keep your loved ones safe:

Physical Fitness

Get moving. Encourage regular exercise programs that focus on balance, strength, and flexibility. Tai Chi, walking groups, and chair-based exercises are excellent options. Regular checkups are key. Talk to your doctor about any concerns regarding vision, hearing, or chronic conditions that could contribute to falls.

Home Sweet Safe Home

Ensure good lighting throughout the house, especially in hallways, bathrooms, and stairwells. Nix the tripping hazards. Remove clutter, secure carpets, and invest in non-slip mats for bathrooms and kitchens. Grab bars are your friend. Install them in bathtubs, showers, and near toilets for added support. Stair safety matters. Consider handrails on both sides of staircases and ensure they are secure.

Medication Mishaps

Review medications regularly. Discuss possible side effects with your doctor and pharmacist, especially those that cause drowsiness or dizziness. Don’t mix and match. Always tell your doctor about all medications and supplements you take, including over-the-counter options.

Mindset Matters

Talk it out. Encourage open communication about concerns and limitations. Modify routines for safety. Tasks like laundry or reaching high shelves can be adapted to minimize risk. Pace yourself. Avoid rushing, especially at night, and prioritize good sleep for alertness and balance. 

Remember, you’re not alone. The aging disability & Veterans Services of Multnomah county offers valuable resources and support, from home safety assessments to connecting you with qualified healthcare professionals. By working together, we can create a safe and supportive environment where our loved ones can age with confidence and independence. Share this article with your family and friends! Spreading awareness about fall prevention can make a big difference in keeping our seniors safe and healthy.

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