Friday, February 6, 2015

Common Causes of Falls and How to Prevent Them

A major safety concern for many Hendersonville seniors is falling. Falls can lead to serious injury which can take time to heal. While some people believe that falling is a natural part of getting older, there are several underlying causes that contribute to risk.

  • Poor vision: Not being able to see clearly can mean tripping over objects, misjudging distance, or having difficulty adjusting to bright or dark settings.
  • Balance problems: Weak muscles, arthritis, injury, and medication are just a few factors that can leave seniors unsteady on their feet. Even a slight jarring can be more difficult to recover from and maintain balance.
  • Medical conditions: Older adults who have trouble with blood pressure, decreased sensitivity in extremities, or confusion may find that they fall more frequently. Their body is not able to respond to changes in position or obstacles as well.
Fortunately there are many ways in which loved ones can help to keep older adults in Asheville safer and reduce risk of falling.

  • Wear slip-resistant socks or shoes: This can improve traction and reduce slipping on certain surfaces. Also make sure that the edges of rugs or carpeting are securely fastened so they don’t move out of place unexpectedly or roll up.
  •  Install grab bars: Placing grab bars in the bathroom can make transition from the shower or toilet a safer process. Seniors have something sturdy to hold on to and to get up and down. Making sure that there are railings along all stairwells can help as well.
  •  Improve lighting: Use higher wattage bulbs when possible and install motion sensors in hallways to improve nighttime navigation. Add additional lights to naturally dark areas or commonly used spaces.
  • Keep paths free of clutter: Ensure that walkways are wide enough to comfortably walk through and there are no obstacles on the ground or blocking the way. Secure cords out of the way to prevent tripping. Organize rooms to improve flow and make commonly used items more easily accessible.
  • Use assistive devices: If balance or stability is an issue, look into the possibility of a cane or walker. Make sure your senior knows how to properly use it to support their walking and navigate around. Also get regular vision screenings so that glasses prescriptions are current and providing the most benefit.
  • Exercise: Strengthening muscles and improving flexibility can reduce the risk of falls. It can help seniors to maintain their balance and control. It can also help them to feel more confident in their mobility.
If your senior has chosen to age in place and lives independently, it can become even more important to be proactive about fall prevention. It can give you peace of mind to know that they are safer and their home meets their needs. If they are relatively independent but could use some assistance, consider the benefits elder care services could provide your Hendersonville loved one. You can decide the level and amount of care that they need and know that someone else is watching out for their wellbeing.

To learn more about elder care through Always Best Care Senior Services of Asheville-Hendersonville and how we can support your elderly parent in their independence and daily activities, call (828) 989-7263 or visit

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