Some of the most debilitating injuries that elderly adults can endure result from slip and fall accidents.
If your elderly parent is growing increasingly frail and you worry about them falling and hurting themselves, your instincts for protecting them are right on. If you can help your aging mom or dad avoid the more common risk factors, they may be able to avoid a slip and fall accident.
You’re Right to Worry About the Dangers of Falling
A slip and fall accident can injure just about anyone at any age, but they are particularly harmful to seniors. As the body ages, it is less resilient to hard impacts, and brittle bones can lead to broken arms, legs, and even hips. Head injuries are also common injuries for senior slip and fall accidents. Sprains, muscle tears, cuts, scrapes, and bruises are just a few of the mild injuries that elderly adults can get when falling.
Recovery from injuries is even harder for seniors due to age. The immune system weakens with age, and it’s hard for elderly adults to fight off or recover from infections. Broken bones mend more slowly and even scrapes, bruises, and gashes do too. Studies show that when aging adults suffer a serious fall, they are more likely to have an additional fall in the subsequent years. No matter what the level of injury, elderly adults are going to have a real health challenge if they become injured.
Reducing the Risks of Slip and Fall Accidents
-The first thing to do is get your aging mom or dad into the doctor for an assessment. The doctor can help with treatment for things like vertigo, arthritis, muscle tremors, dizziness from medication, high blood pressure and poor vision. Your elderly parent may also need a walking device like a cane or walker to remain steady. Inform other people in your parent’s life, like family members, friends, and elder care providers, about any treatments so they can help, too.
-The other major step you need to take is to assess their home. To prevent slip and fall accidents, you need to create an environment that is supportive instead of intrusive. Many seniors suffer from slips in the bathroom when they walk around on wet tile or vinyl. Installing grab bars in the shower and by the toilet often help. Non-slip floor mats are also a good way to have more sure footing. Elderly parents need a home with bright lighting and no floor clutter to avoid falling.
-The best way to prevent slip and fall accidents among seniors is to identify the risk factors, then work to minimize them. There are many different conditions that lead up to a slip and fall accident so family caregivers and their elderly relatives must always be working on reducing the risks. Other areas to look at are loose footwear, broken steps, and not properly using walkers or canes.
Slip and falls are mostly preventable, so you and their elder care provider have a good chance of reducing the risk of a slip and fall for your mom or dad.