What does a Falls Prevention Plan look like?
- Conduct the falls risk assessment previously provided and have a conversation with your loved one.
- What is their current health condition? Possibly join your loved one in their next doctor’s visit.
- How is their vision? Is vision check annually? Using tint-changing lenses or bifocals may create additional vision hazards.
- Is your loved one having any issues moving around (holding onto walls and furniture) or having trouble arising from chairs. A trained physical therapist can help improve balance and strength through exercise.
- Is your loved having trouble remembering to take their medication or experiencing any side effects like feeling dizzy or sleepy? A doctor or pharmacist can help.
- Have a senior home care agency conduct a home safety assessment to determine any hazards within the home. The assessor should conduct a safety review in the following areas: appropriate lighting, stairs, bathrooms, and floors. Some senior home care agencies offer this as a free service.
- Find a community-based falls prevention program including “Matter of Balance”, “Stepping On”, “Stay Active and Independent for Life”, and my favorite, Dick Van Dyke’s infomercial for “Tai Chi”. Your local Area Agencies on Aging should be able to assist you.
15 Steps to Fall Prevention:
- Remove clutter and obstacles including electrical cords, papers, books, and shoes from all walkway areas.
- Clear a path around the furniture.
- Keep stairs and hallways well lighted.
- Hand rails should be on both sides of stairs and hallways.
- Wear non-skid footwear, not socks or slippers.
- Maintain a regular exercise program.
- Monitor side effects from new medications
- Have vision checked annually.
- Always wear a clean pair of glasses.
- Use bed guard rails.
- Remove rugs that can slip.
- Repair worn or frayed carpet.
- Keep floors dry.
- Hearing aids should work and be worn.
- Test wheelchairs/walkers for proper functioning including its brakes.
Home Safety Inspection
A home safety inspection is vital to help uncover any hidden areas within the home that may lead to a fall. Inspect the following areas of the home and improve as necessary in order to keep our loved ones safe:
- Entrance to the home – Area should be well lighted and sidewalk, stairs, and railing in good repair.
- General condition of the home – Review for clutter, handrails, flooring condition, fire hazards, working smoke detectors, and other health hazards.
- Medications – Ensure stored properly and dated as well as a list of medications and allergies kept with instructions on when medications are to be taken.
- Medical equipment and supplies – Review to ensure stored correctly and waste is disposed appropriately.
- Living areas – Area should be assessible for wheelchairs/walkers, furniture should be suitable to easy sitting and rising, furniture properly secured, and walkways clear and free of clutter.
- Bathroom – Floor and tub/shower surface should non-skid, plenty of grab bars, raised toilet seat, seat in the shower, with towels easily assessible.
- Bedroom – Bed should be of proper height with bed guards, a chair should be in dressing area, night lights are a great idea for those late night trips.
- Kitchen – Floors should not be slick, appliances should be in good working order, stored items should be kept between knee and eye level, and footstools should never be used to reach items.
- Lighting – All areas should be well lighted with non-glare bulbs, light switches at proper levels and possibly on a motion sensor with reflective tape used on any stairway.
- Outdoor areas – These areas should be level and well lighted.
Canyon Lake Senior Home Care offers a complimentary home safety assessment along with its free In-home consultation to all new clients. Please let us know how we can serve you!