Fall Prevention
The Home Health Aide Role in Fall Prevention 2

A caregiver or home health aide can play a pivotal part in a fall prevention program in the home of an older adult. Guidelines and processes that have been modified to identify people who are at risk of falling and to give preventive measures to lower that risk in turn reduces falls and injuries related to falls are referred to as fall prevention.

Something as easy as tripping over a rug or slipping on a wet floor might completely alter your life. The CDC has some surprising statistics about the risk of falling and how falls can be prevented. A fall can begin a series of more severe issues for older adults, such as hospitalization, injuries, exacerbation of current symptoms, or a disability. Hiring a home health aide can make a big difference in fall prevention.

Causes and Risk Factors for Falls:

  • Several factors can lead to a fall. You may not have as good of hearing, eyesight, or reflexes as you did when you were younger. Your balance may be damaged by diabetes, heart disease, or issues with your nerves, feet, thyroid, or blood vessels. You may feel dizziness or sleepiness from some medications, which increases your risk of falling. Other causes include dangers to one’s safety in one’s home or community.
  • Other individual risk factors for falling include muscle weakness, issues with balance and gait, and excessive blood pressure when getting up from a lying or sitting position (called postural hypotension). Your risk of falling can also be increased by painful feet and dangerous footwear, such as high heels or backless shoes.
  • Falls can also result from confusion. For instance, if you wake up in a strange place, you might not know where you are. Wait until your emotions are clear or until assistance arrives if you are feeling confused before trying to stand up and move around.
  • Due to side effects, including confusion or dizziness, some drugs can raise a person’s risk of falling. You are more likely to fall if you take more drugs. You might be able to reduce your risk of falling if you take care of your general health.

Fall Prevention Strategies:

If you are looking for help with fall prevention, consider Mind and mobility‘s recommendations:

  • Stay physically active. Create a personalized exercise plan for yourself. Regular exercise strengthens your muscles and enhances your body. Additionally, it keeps your ligaments, tendons, and joints flexible. Simple weight-bearing exercises like stair climbing or walking can help slow osteoporosis-related bone loss.
  • Have your eyes and hearing tested? You could fall if your sight or hearing changes even slightly. Take your time adjusting to new eyeglasses or contact lenses when you first acquire them. When necessary, always wear your glasses or contacts. Make sure your hearing aid fits properly, and wear it if you have one.
  • Any medicine you take should have side effects, so find out about them. Inform your doctor or pharmacist if a drug causes you to feel sleepy or dizzy.
  • Get proper rest. You are more likely to fall if you are sleepy.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Even a tiny amount of alcohol might affect your balance and reflexes. According to studies, drinking increases the likelihood of bone fractures in older persons.
  • Hiring in home care. Having supervision and assistance by a trained home health aide can play a large part in reducing the risk for falls

Get up gradually. Controlling blood pressure is a key factor in fall prevention. It may drop if you stand up too soon. That might make you feel unsteady. Check your blood pressure both while you are standing and lying down. Working with home health and your physician can help monitor and regulate your blood pressure.

  • If you require help feeling stable while walking, use an assistive device. Fall prevention can be avoided by using walkers and canes properly. Make sure the cane or walker is the proper size for you and that the wheels move easily if your doctor instructs you to use one. 
  • This is crucial if you travel through uncharted surroundings or uneven ground. You can get assistance deciding which gadgets could be useful and learn how to use them properly from a physical or occupational therapist who specializes in fall prevention.
  • When navigating ice or damp areas, proceed with great caution. They might be slick! Try spreading salt or sand on snowy spots near your front or back door.
  • Put on low-heeled, rubber-soled shoes with non-slip soles or lace-up shoes with non-slip soles that provide complete foot support. The soles mustn’t be too thin or thick. Avoid wearing socks, shoes, or slippers with smooth bottoms when using stairs or floors.

What is The Best Fall Prevention Program?:

One of the best workouts for preventing falls is Tai Chi. People with arthritis can enhance their overall muscle strength, flexibility, balance, stamina, and more with the help of Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention. A six-week class series called Tai Chi Prime has been found to lower the risk of falling. Our home health aides are always willing to provide transportation to exercise classes.

Fall Prevention Exercise For Seniors:

Here are some fall prevention recommendations for senior:

Squatting, standing up from a chair, and walking might be difficult for senior persons or make them feel unsteady, which increases their risk of falling. With caregiver assistance, the older adult can feel safe performing exercises that can prevent falls in the future.

Sit-to-Stand Exercise:

The sit-to-stand exercise increases leg strength, balance, and body mechanics, which are crucial for fall prevention.

  • Get comfortable by sitting in a firm chair that is the right height and won’t slip or roll. You should be able to sit comfortably with your feet flat on the ground. Have an accessible solid support surface nearby, such as a countertop, in case you begin to feel wobbly when standing.
  • Lean your chest over your toes, transferring your body weight forward. Slowly raise yourself to a stable standing position by contracting your gluteal muscles.
  • Return to the beginning position slowly, then sit there ten times.
  • To help stand and sit, put your hands on the chair’s arms or seat, if necessary, and push through them. To completely avoid using your hands is the goal.
  • Hiring a caregiver or working with a physical therapist can help you accomplish this and other strengthening exercises effectively.

Balance Exercise:

It is the best fall prevention program for senior. If your balance is weak, try these exercises. In case you lose your balance, make sure someone is nearby.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, eyes open, and hold for 10 seconds before increasing the time to 30 seconds. If you regularly reach for the wall or counter while performing this exercise, keep practicing until you can do it without much swaying or support. Go on to the next exercise once you can maintain this position for 30 seconds.
  • Feet together: Stand with your feet and your eyes open. Hold your position steadily for 10 seconds, then try for 30. Go on to the next exercise if you can do the previous one for 30 seconds without needing much assistance or wobble.
  • One foot: Stand on one foot with your eyes open for 10 seconds, then try for 30. Change to your other foot.
  • Eyes closed: Try performing each of the first three exercises with your eyes closed if you can do so safely and with minimal assistance. Working up to 30 seconds, hold for 10 seconds. For each exercise, the target time is 10 seconds, with a progression of 30 seconds, five repetitions (including five per leg for the one-foot exercise), and twice daily.

We always recommend having a caregiver or physical therapist to supervise fall prevention exercise for seniors at risk of falling.

Areas We Serve: Home Care Services