Various risk factors culminate to contribute to your parent’s risk of falling. These can be roughly categorized into personal risk and environmental risk factors. Serious falls can result in broken bones or hip fractures, as well as a prolonged bed rest that can lead to weakness from a lack of physical activity. By paying attention to personal and environmental risk factors, falls can actually be prevented.
Encourage Your Parent to Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise of at least 30 minutes a day will strengthen muscles and prevent physical weakness. Try to schedule both cardiovascular as well as strength and endurance exercises each week. Studies have shown that strength training can help increase bone density, thus reducing the risk of fractures. Regular exercises can also reduce symptoms of postural hypotension, which increases with age.
Maintain Strong Bones
Although osteoporosis affects women more than men on average, weakening bones is a risk factor that can contribute to long-term injuries in the event of falling. Make sure that your parent’s diet includes healthy amounts of calcium-rich foods like sardines, milk and cheese. Getting sufficient Vitamin D from sunlight is also important as it helps our body absorb calcium. Other than sunlight, Vitamin D can also be found in eggs, cod liver oil and fatty fish like salmon and tuna.
Go for Regular Eye Checks
A clear vision is essential to an injury-free life, decreasing the risk of bumping or knocking into objects or obstacles. Regular trips to the optometrists can also help ensure that your parent is not suffering from eye conditions such as glaucoma or cataracts and that their prescription glasses are fitted correctly.
Reduce Risks at Home
Declutter your home to ensure that pathways stay free from the clutter that can cause falls. This extends to free-hanging or straying wires that can cause your parent to trip. To prevent slipping, install non-slip mats and clean up liquids or spills immediately to prevent someone from stepping on them. You can also install grab bars in places like the bathroom where the floor may be perpetually wet for additional support. Avoid the need for ladders by keeping frequently used items in a place that is easily reached. Include the use of night lights that are conveniently located so that your parent does not have to fumble in the dark as they get out of bed.
Take Control of Medication and Alcohol use
Ask your parent to review their medication with their doctor at least once annually, especially if they take four or more four types of medicine. This is important as certain drugs may cause drowsiness or affect your parent’s sense of coordination or balance when taken alone or together. In addition, never mix alcohol with medication as that can cause unexpected responses in the body.
Join Us at Discovery Village Vero Beach
If your parent lives alone or is exhibiting a declining ability to take on the responsibilities of managing household chores on his or her own, you may want to consider moving your parent into a retirement community. We offer a safe and friendly environment where you and your parent can enjoy peace of mind. Come discover our exceptional care by contacting us today!