When an elderly individual slips and falls, the resulting injuries can range from minor bumps or bruises to more serious injuries, including broken bones and even traumatic brain injuries. Studies show that even minor falls which produce non-serious injuries can cause even active elderly individuals to be fearful of another fall. This may cause them to reduce or avoid activities they once enjoyed frequently. This can lead to isolation and depression. Fortunately, there are easy steps that elderly individuals can take to help prevent falls.
Stay in Well Lit Areas
As humans age, the retinas of the eyes lose their ability to take in light. This makes it difficult to distinguish contrast in vision. By making sure elderly individuals can clearly see, in well-lit areas, they are more able to identify obstacles outside, in the community, and even at home.
Aids for Steps, Staircases, and Bathrooms
Securing railings on both sides of steps and staircases in the home allows for safer and easier ascent and descent. Bathrooms are one of the most dangerous rooms in the home for elderly individuals. Adding hand bars near toilets, bathtubs, and showers provide for ease of use and increased safety. It is also wise to consider adding a shower chair and a hand-held shower head.
Communicate With Your Healthcare Provider
Check-ups and physicals are a necessary and regular part of preventative medicine. Elderly individuals that appear to have, or express difficulty walking, balance, or other gross or fine motor skills, typically benefit from physical therapy. A physical therapist can provide an exercise regimen that assists with improving motor skills and balances.
Take Medications as Prescribed
Prescription medications should always be taken according to the doctor that prescribed them, but this presents a challenge for some. A pill box or medication dispenser with a timer helps aids in taking medications as prescribed. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist immediately.if side effects present themselves.
If You Suspect Elder Abuse
If you have concerns that a friend, family member, or loved may be a victim of elder abuse, contact a knowledgeable and experienced elder abuse attorney. A lawyer will evaluate the facts and circumstances of the case and advise you on the next steps you should take.