Fall Prevention: How Nurses Aides and Companions Can Help Seniors from Falling
Adults of any age may have an accidental fall on occasion, without serious consequences. However, when a senior over the age of 65 falls, the incident can lead to severe injury such as a broken hip, broken bones or internal injuries which may also lead to a cascading number of health problems that can be life threatening.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention notes that, each year, 1 in 4 Americans over the age of 65 experiences a fall. Prevention of these accidents should be an essential part of a caregiver’s routine.
The nurse’s aides and companions here at Tri County Homecare Florida in Boca Raton and Hollywood are specially trained in senior fall prevention to try to avoid accidents, in order to help their precious patients live healthier, more active lives.
Common Causes of Falls in Seniors
Elderly individuals are at greater risk for accidents in the home, due to a number of different factors:
- Loose Rugs – Area rugs can tangle and cause falling down that causes serious injury. Many homes in Boca Raton and Hollywood feature area rugs to add color and dampen sound echos in rooms with tile floors, so these can pose a problem for older patients.
- Electrical Cords – Electronic and appliance cords may be left in pathways where they can cause trippin
- Bathroom Hazards – Many homes in Hollywood and Boca lack grab bars and non-slip mats in the bathroom where wet bathroom surfaces can lead to slipping in the bathtub, shower or toilet area. This is one of the most dangerous places in homes and home health aides and caregivers must be especially aware of hazards posed in the bathroom.
- Poor Housekeeping – Clutter can accumulate in pathways that create a slip or fall hazard. It is essential for patients with walkers, canes or wheelchairs to be able to easily navigate through their homes and outside to their cars for necessary doctor appointments.
- Inadequate Lighting – Poor lighting can make stairways and hallways difficult to navigate safely. Our home health aides will check lighting conditions and make or recommend adjustments as necessary. It is easy enough to add inexpensive lighting to dimly lit areas in order to prevent a fall or tumble.
- Hazardous Footwear – Shoes or slippers that do not hold onto the feet well can cause tripping and serious falls. Many seniors in the Boca Raton area have tile, marble or other slippery surfaces so caregivers must be especially cognizant of this.
- Lack of Assistive Devices – Seniors may not believe they need a cane or walker or may not have these items available.
- Medications – Seniors often take a number of medications, some of which can cause dizzying or problems with balance.
- Poor Physical Condition – The elderly may lose muscle strength and may have slower reaction times that can lead to more frequent falls.
How A Nurses Aide Can Help Prevent Falls
A nurse’s aide or a companion caregiver can have a significant impact on the risk for falls among the elderly. The aide can survey the home for obvious hazards and make corrections to make the home environment safer.
An aide can also monitor the physical condition of a senior, to make note of any changes in muscle strength, balance or flexibility that increase the risk for falling down.
Nurses aides can also help to organize the senior’s home to avoid obstructions in the pathway, wayward electrical cords and recommend assistive devices, such as walkers, grab bars and other items. Daily monitoring allows an aide to remind the individual about proper footwear and arranging frequently needed items within reach, to avoid falls.
Most importantly, the aide can alert family and medical professionals about changes that may impact the individual’s medical condition and ability to live independently.
Good elder care can help to prevent dangerous tumbles. When your loved one needs additional monitoring and supervision to maintain health and ensure safety, call Tri-County Home Care, serving Hollywood and Boca Raton, for trained home health aides and other caregivers who can provide fall prevention and compassionate, experienced care.