If you have asked yourself this question, you are not alone. More than 65 million people, 29% of the U.S. population, provide care for a chronically ill, disabled, or aged family member or friend during any given year and spend an average of 20 hours per week providing care for their loved ones. Countless hours are spent worrying if their loved ones are safe from falls and other accidents that can lead to broken bones, head injuries and extended hospital stays that end with placement in a long-term care facility.
Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults. So it’s natural to wonder and worry about our loved ones’ safety. If someone you know and love has already experienced a fall they are more likely than those who have not fallen to fall again. Some statistics report they are more likely to fall within 6 months of the first fall.
Fall among aging adults rarely have a single cause but are due to both intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors. Examples of intrinsic factors include:
- muscle weakness
- difficulty walking
- poor balance, dizziness
- poor vision/hearing
- poor posture
- chronic conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, stroke, parkinson’s disease, neuropathy, incontinence
- fear of falling
- home hazards
- home design
- improper use of assistive devices
- improper footwear
So what can you do to help your loved one remain safe and independent in their home?
Visit my webpage at www.bringithomept.com for information on home safety precautions and schedule an appointment for a home safety assessment. I will come to your loved one’s home and assess all the above factors for risk of falling. As a board certified Geriatric Specialist in Physical Therapy I can provide interventions to address their deficits and teach them and their caregivers ways to help them remain safe in their home. It is my dream that every aging adult have the education and resources they need to stay safely in their home as long as they desire.