As part of the at-home visit, Seniors Helping Seniors providers are now offering a free Falls Prevention Assessment to help support the wellbeing of each client. "By looking around at each home with fresh eyes," said Judy Loubier, a licensed Physical Therapist and Owner of Seniors Helping Seniors of Seacoast and Southern New Hampshire. "We can suggest easy changes that create a safer environment and help with the mobility of older adults."
Without prevention, there is about a 1 in 3 chance that the older adult you are most concerned about will fall. Falls often results in hospitalization and injuries that make it hard to get around or live independently. And many adults develop a fear of falling again, which may limit their mobility and create a loss of physical fitness, which could actually increase the subsequent risk of falling.
To reduce the possibility of falls in your home we recommend you:
• remove hazards such as boxes, newspapers and cords
• move furniture such as coffee tables, plant stands out of the way
• secure loose rugs and floorboards
• put common items such as dishes and food within easy reach
• make lights bright and put flashlights throughout the house
A Seniors Helping Seniors provider can help make the home safer by installing non-slip treads for steps, a raised toilet seat with armrests, grab rails and a shower or tub seat.
Older adults can also benefit by increasing their strength and balance through regular exercise. Our Seniors Helping Seniors providers can help clients start and maintain a regular exercise program such as walking or going to a tai chi or water aerobics class. They also help out by taking older adults to doctors or pharmacists to review all medications for side effects that might cause drowsiness or dizziness and to regularly scheduled eye examinations.
"The role of every one of our service providers," says Judy, "is to help seniors maintain their independence and stay in the homes that they love. We do that by helping each older adult to be safe and to keep moving as much as possible."
Get a Home Fall Prevention Checklist for Older Adults for free at The Centers for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/pubs.html
Or more information at the Mayo Clinic http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fall-prevention/HQ00657