What Risk Factors Make Seniors More Likely to Fall?

By Robert D. Liken CPC, CTS, President

February 28, 2018

When it comes to taking care of an elderly relative, family caregivers do a lot to create an environment where they are safe, comfortable and healthy. There are several risk factors that, when present, increase the chances of an aging adult of experiencing an injury from a slip and fall accident. By keeping the focus on slip and fall accidents, everyone involved in senior care make the most of every opportunity to keep the elderly person safe.

Elder Care in Upper St. Clair PA: Seniors Fall Risks
Elder Care in Upper St. Clair PA: Seniors Fall Risks

Seniors and Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents cause millions of injuries in aging adults each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 2.8 million senior slip and fall injuries that result in an emergency room visit each year. One in four elderly Americans experience a serious fall each year and many of these result in moderate to serious injuries.
A serious slip and fall accident can completely change an elderly person’s life, causing them pain, reduced mobility and even the loss of independence. Family caregivers, friends, neighbors and senior care assistive services can help elderly people in reducing the hidden hazards that contribute to slip and fall accidents. They can also lead the way in making sure the aging adult is as physically fit and resistant to falls as possible.
Risk Factors for Slip and Fall Accidents
The best way for family caregivers to help their elderly relative avoid a slip and fall accident is to learn about the risk factors. Risk factors are conditions that are most likely to contribute to an accident. An elderly person’s environment is one big factor in triggering a slip and fall. Clutter, protruding furniture, dim lighting and weather-related conditions can all increase the risk of injury. Physical fitness is another big factor in slip and fall accidents. Health issues, weakened muscles, medication and chronic conditions associated with age all make it harder for seniors to stay on their feet.
By minimizing or eliminating risk factors, family caregivers can reduce the chances of their aging loved one experiencing a slip and fall accident.
Here are some things that family caregivers and senior care assistants can do to keep someone from falling:

-Review medications with a doctor to eliminate dizziness as a side effect.

-Stay hydrated and eat a healthy diet.

-Exercise to strengthen the lower body and boost balance.

-Get vision checked annually.

-Clear clutter from the floor and keep walkways empty.

-Add brighter light bulbs to improve visibility.

-Install grab bars in the bathroom near the toilet and tub.

-Ensure footwear fits well and discourage loose slippers and flip-flops.

Some of the preventative measures have to do with an aging adult’s physical health, while others center on creating a clean environment. Working together, family caregivers, senior care aides and the elderly adults themselves can significantly reduce the risk of a slip and fall accident.

If you are considering Elder Care in Upper St. Clair, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Liken Home Care. Call (412) 693-6820 or (855) 856-0551