It’s possible you may have tripped and fallen in recent weeks. We’re willing to bet that the damage wasn’t necessarily substantial. At least, this is what we can assume if you’re relatively young in age and have no mobility issues. For seniors, however, falling is a very serious situation. The very prospect of taking a tumble presents extreme fear. Falls are the top reason for hospitalizations among seniors in Canada.
What causes seniors to fall? How can falls be prevented? In this week’s blog, we’ll seek to answer both very important questions.
Get their eyes checked.
It’s no secret that, as we age, our vision can diminish. Many a senior wears glasses. But when is the last time you had your elderly loved one’s eyes checked? It should go without saying that the better a senior can see, the safer his/her steps will be. As SingleCare.com alerts us, when someone can’t see detail, he/she may miss things like cracks in the sidewalk. They may also misjudge the height of a curb.
“Our eyesight gets worse as we age,” affirms the website, “Eye changes are a part of aging, and they often develop gradually. Normal, aging-related sight changes include seeing in lesser detail, not distinguishing between colors as well, and seeing worse in low-light conditions…When someone loses the ability to distinguish between colours, they may not notice changes in surfaces, such as changes from hardwood floor to rug or asphalt to gravel.”
Get their ears checked.
Needless to say, one’s hearing is as important as his/her sight. Your hearing can alert you to what is around you. However, we admit that explaining one’s hearing as an issue that can cause falls is a little tricky. SingleCare.com reports that people who lose their hearing are more likely to fall even though medical researchers aren’t sure exactly why.
“One theory is that an inability to hear as well can lead to an overall lack of awareness of the surrounding environment, which can lead to falls,” explains the site, “Another possibility put forth by researchers is that because the mind is working so hard to try to hear, it might not have the processing power to help regulate gait and balance.”
Install grab bars and handrails.
Sometimes, all an older adult needs is a little something sturdy to hold on to. In many cases, that would be a loved one. But seniors don’t always want to have to depend on their family members and friends to keep them upright. By installing grab bars in your bathroom, you give the older adults in your home more independence. Handrails on staircases keep them safer as well. Grab bars and handrails provide leverage and offer added balance to any bathroom experience.
On EverydayHealth.com, Wyatt Myers highly recommends the installation of grab bars and handrails. “These safety devices are crucial for going up and down stairs, getting on and off the toilet, and stepping in and out of the bathtub without injuring yourself,” he writes.
At LifeCare Mobility Solutions, we don’t just offer grab bars and other bathroom modifications. We proudly carry a wide variety of mobility solutions to help prevent falls. To learn all about them, please don’t hesitate to call us at 416-267-9800 or email us at [email protected]. You may also contact us by filling out the form on our Contact page!