Stop and count to 60. In that minute, an average of six elderly men and women have fallen and needed to go to the hospital. If you think about the number of minutes in an hour, a day, a week, and a month, that is a lot of falls. Each year, over 2.8 million seniors end up in the ER following a fall.
Prevention is the key to keeping your mom or dad safe. Prevention starts when you identify these three main risk factors.
Know the Side Effects of Medications Your Parents Take
Many medications cause dizziness or drowsiness. If your parent is on one of these medications, they have a higher risk of falling.
The IMS Institute lists these five as the most commonly prescribed drugs:
Levothyroxine, lisinopril, acetaminophen/hydrocodone, atorvastatin, and metoprolol. Now, look at their common side effects.
Levothyroxine – Used to treat an underactive thyroid, the medication doesn’t have many severe side effects. A few may experience tremors, lethargy, and seizures.
Lisinopril – used to treat high blood pressure, the medication’s common side effects include dizziness/lightheadedness and tiredness.
Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone – The more powerful prescription version of acetaminophen has a narcotic in it. Dizziness, drowsiness, lightheadedness, and nausea are common symptoms.
Atorvastatin – Used to lower cholesterol levels, atorvastatin also doesn’t have many side effects and shouldn’t increase the fall risk.
Metoprolol – This is a beta-blocker that’s used to lower blood pressure and aid patients with angina or heart disease. Drowsiness and lethargy are the main side effects.
Weakened Muscles Can Impact Balance and Stamina
After a surgery or illness or simply being sedentary most of the time, muscles may not be as strong. This can increase the risk of a fall by messing with leg strength and balance. Weaker muscles also impact stamina. A short walk from one room to the other may be difficult.
Clutter Can Pose a Hazard
Your parents may not clean as much as they used to. Watch carefully for clutter. Stacks of magazines or newspapers can tip over if a pet brushes against them. In the middle of the night, your parents could trip or slip on the items that have toppled. Too much furniture in one room is also a problem as it’s easy to walk into furnishings that jut into the regular walking path.
Elderly Care Helps Minimize the Fall Risk
Avoid injury from a fall. If your parents live alone, there are things you can do to keep them safe. Start with a discussion with an elderly care specialist. Caregivers can help your parents with tasks that make them more prone to falling. Caregivers can also be there when side effects from medications are more likely to occur. Call an elderly care agency to get started.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elderly Care in Braselton, GA, please contact the friendly staff at Certified Home Care of Georgia. Call today 770-635-8042