Falls Can Take a Toll on the Elderly

Recognizing the Risk and Alleviating Dangers are First Step

The risk of falls becomes greater as we age. In fact, recent statistics indicate that one in three elderly persons fall each year.

And those falls are not without consequences. They account for 87 percent of all fractures in people who are at least 65 years old. These falls and fractures can lead to a downward spiral that can shorten one’s life.

As the owner of an assisted living facility in Parker, Colorado, I am diligent about doing what I can to reduce the risk for my residents.

Whether you have an elderly loved one living with you, in a facility like Country Home Assisted Living or a retirement community, you should realize that your loved one is probably going to be a fall risk at some point.

With that realization, it is then a good time to make a concerted effort to reduce the fall risk that surrounds your loved one. Here are some good ways to get started:

  • Keep pathways clear. Oxygen tubing and electrical cords are easy to trip on. Try to route them away from pathways.
  • Remove obstacles and clutter that can get in the way. Keep a clear path around the bed.
  • Remove throw rugs. Or, at the very least, fasten throw rugs to the floor with double-sided tape.
  • Make sure your elderly loved one wears good footwear that has a tread on the bottom. Avoid shoes with heals. Gripper socks are great for the nighttime.
  • Wipe up spills immediately.
  • Make sure that furniture is stable and doesn’t tilt when leaned upon.
  • If you have a pet, make sure your elderly loved one checks for the pet’s location when they are thinking about getting up from a chair or bed.
  • Depending on the health of your loved one, you might want them to call for help when they want to get up from bed, a chair or want to go to the restroom.

I can’t stress enough how falls can take a toll on elderly folks. As their caregivers, it is wise for use to do all we can to remove the risks and possible trips to the hospital.

If you’d like more information about caring for your elderly loved one, please feel free to give me, Linda Melbardis, a call at Country Home Assisted Living in Parker. I’ve owned this facility for 20 years and have seen just about everything imaginable. I can be reached at 303.840.1986.