Your senior’s doctor can do a formal fall risk assessment, but there are some questions you can ask yourself and your senior that can help you to get an idea how high her fall risk is.
Has She Fallen in the Past Year?
People who fall are almost twice as likely to fall a second time, so it’s important to know whether your elderly family member has fallen in the last year. If she has, assess what caused that fall. Some falls are due to specific circumstances at the time, but other falls are caused by deteriorating health, clutter building up, or medication side effects.
Does She Appear Unsteady as She Walks?
If your elderly family member is unsteady when she walks, this could be a bad sign in terms of her overall fall risk. Some aging adults try to hide an unsteady gait from family members because of fears that something else might happen. Your elderly family member may not want to make a big deal out of growing older, but she could also be sabotaging her own health to hide the fact that she needs some assistance.
Has She Told You She’s Worried about Falling?
People who are actively worried about falling can be more likely to fall, simply because of that fear. It might cause her to avoid moving as much as she should, for instance, which leads to muscle loss and to problems with her balance. That alone can almost ensure that she does fall. Being aware of your senior’s fears gives you a chance to work around them and help her through them.
Does She Take Medications That Make Her Dizzy or Sleepy?
Medication side effects are another common cause of falls. Medications that your senior takes before bed may make her sleepy, dizzy, or lightheaded, all of which make a fall far more likely. Using assistive devices, like a cane, after she’s had her medication and needs to get up again can help immensely. She may also benefit from having homecare providers available to help her with mobility concerns.
Has Her Doctor Advised Her to Use a Cane?
If your senior’s doctor has told her that it’s a good idea for her to use a cane, walker, or other assistive device, that means that her doctor assesses her fall risk at a rather high level. Using a cane doesn’t make your senior frail or less independent. In fact, the cane helps her to keep her independence and if it helps her to avoid a fall, it is doing even more to preserve her independence.
Talk with your senior about what you see as her fall risks and see what else she’s interested in doing to help prevent a fall.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Homecare Services in Santa Monica CA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hearts Home Care today. Proudly Serving the Los Angeles & Ventura County. Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! (805) 371-0033, (818) 593-0094.
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