The Top 5 Fall Prevention Strategies for the Elderly
Knowing how to reduce falls in the elderly can go a long way towards ensuring that your loved one remains independent and injury free as they age and move around.
Thinking through and implementing elderly fall prevention strategies with your loved ones is incredibly valuable, as the CDC reports that:
- One out of four elderly people aged 65+ experiences a fall
- Falling once doubles your chances of falling again
- One out of every five falls causes a serious injury, like a broken bone or head injury
- More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling
Fortunately, there are many great fall prevention techniques and safety tips to prevent falls at home or out in public.
If you’re interested in learning more about fall prevention for seniors, keep reading.
In this article, we’re sharing our top fall prevention tips so that you can know how to avoid falls in the elderly. With these practical fall prevention guidelines, you can help your elderly parents retain their confidence moving around.
Continue scrolling to learn the best ways to prevent falls in the elderly.
How to Reduce Falls in the Elderly: 5 Fall Prevention Tips
As we age, our mobility and coordination can decrease, leading to an increased risk of falling. For elderly adults, this can bring about fear and anxiety with moving around the home or out in public. It can also signal a loss of independence.
However, there are ways to prevent falls in the elderly and help them get back on their feet with confidence. It may require some fall prevention interventions, but making some small changes can go a long way.
If you’re wondering how to reduce falls in the elderly, here are five fall prevention strategies you can implement with your aging parents.
1. Clear the House of Tripping Hazards
It’s important to ensure your parents’ place of residence is safe since 60% of falls occur in the home.
One of the best fall prevention tips is to clean the house and clear it of clutter and tripping hazards. Some things to look for include:
- Carpet or throw rugs that stick up
- Uneven flooring
- Large piles of papers, clothes, etc. on the floor
- Rugs or mats that slide easily
- Objects in the middle of common walkways
Making sure that hallways, living spaces, and main walkways are clear is a great initial step toward fall mitigation in the home.
2. Safety-proof Stairs and the Bathroom
Two other areas of the home to safety proof are the stairs and the bathroom.
Here’s a more in-depth look at fall prevention interventions for the stairs and bathroom.
Stairs Fall Prevention Tips
Falling down stairs or tripping on the way up can be hazardous for anyone, let alone elderly adults.
When it comes to fall prevention techniques involving the stairs, you’ll want to consider:
- Installing or tightening railings
- Putting non-slip strips on indoor stairs
- Fixing carpet on indoor stairs if the carpet is raised or uneven
- Ensuring outdoor stairs are even and have railings
Alternatively, you can try to help your parents avoid stairs altogether. For example, creating a first-floor bedroom could mean they don’t have to climb the stairs regularly.
Bathroom Fall Prevention Strategies
Fall prevention for seniors also extends into the bathroom.
Getting in and out of the tub/shower can be challenging, so you’ll want to install railings or put in a walk-in tub/shower. Once in the tub/shower, it’s good to consider putting down non-slip strips.
It’s also important to think about the bathroom floor, since it can get wet and become a slipping hazard.
Any way you can prevent hazards in the bathroom is a win for you and your parents.
3. Wear Proper Footwear
Another one of our top safety tips to prevent falls at home and in public is to wear proper footwear.
You’ll want to encourage your parents to stay away from:
- High heels
- Floppy slippers or sandals
- Shoes with slick soles
In addition, walking around the house in only socks can be a fall risk, especially on hardwood floors.
Instead, your parents should invest in shoes that:
- Fit properly
- Offer good support
- Have non-slip soles
- Can be worn inside and outside of the home
Choosing sensible footwear can greatly decrease your loved ones’ risk of falling.
4. Use an Assistive Walking Device
Unsure how to reduce falls in the elderly who can’t walk independently?
If one or both of your parents has trouble walking alone, providing them with an assistive device could be the answer. Canes and walkers provide extra stability for elderly adults and give them the ability to get around on their own.
Your parents may show hesitation about using an assistive device at first. So, it can be helpful to explain to them how an assistive device will increase their independence and decrease their fall risk.
Additionally, learning to walk with a cane or walker can be intimidating. Fortunately, there are physical therapists who can come to their homes and help them learn how to walk with an assistive device.
In addition to helping seniors learn to walk with a cane, an in-home physical therapist can aid in fall mitigation in other ways.
5. Schedule In-home Physical Therapy
As a senior’s muscles and bones weaken, their fall risk increases. Therefore, one of the best elderly fall prevention strategies is to regain strength and mobility through physical therapy.
In-home physical therapy provides your loved one with one-on-one assistance from a professional physical therapist. With physical therapy at home, the physical therapist will:
- Come directly to your parents’ home
- Assess their situation and create a personalized care plan
- Walk them through exercises to increase strength and mobility
By working with a private physical therapist, your parents will decrease their risk of falling and increase their confidence moving around.
In addition to being one of the best fall prevention interventions for elderly adults, in-home physical therapy is also a great option for any senior who’s recovering from a surgery, injury, or stroke.
Expert Help with Fall Prevention for Seniors
Falling is a risk for anyone, but it becomes more likely as we age. Fortunately, there are many fall prevention techniques to keep seniors safe inside and outside the home.
Five of the best fall prevention strategies to reduce the risk of a fall include:
- Clearing the house of tripping hazards
- Safety-proofing the stairs and bathroom
- Wearing proper footwear
- Using an assistive walking device
- Scheduling in-home physical therapy
Now that you know how to reduce falls in the elderly, you can implement some of these fall prevention tips and help your aging parents move around more safely.
And if you’re interested in getting your parents an in-home physical therapist, we’re here for you.
At Commonwise Home Care, we’re dedicated to helping elderly adults live independently at home. We offer a comprehensive list of elder care services, including in-home physical therapy. Our trained physical therapists enter your parents’ home, walk them through exercises, and help them regain strength and mobility. Whether your loved ones need help learning to walk with a cane or are recovering from surgery, our therapists can provide professional assistance throughout the process.
Contact us today to learn more about how in-home physical therapy can aid in fall prevention for seniors.