Falls are a very serious risk for elderly adults. Each year approximately 30% of all adults over the age of 60 will experience a fall, and hospitalizations among these adults associated with falls are twice as long as those associated with any other reason for admission. A senior who experiences a fall can sustain injuries so serious that it compromises their mobility and physical functioning, diminishes their quality of life, and can even increase the risk for mortality. While fall risk exists at any time of the year, weather conditions and other factors in the winter can increase the possibility your senior will suffer from a fall. As a family caregiver, it is extremely important to help your parent to avoid these issues and prevent the potentially serious consequences that can result.
Use these tips to protect your elderly loved one from falls in winter weather:
● Make sure your parent wears appropriate footwear. All shoes should fit well, be secure and supportive around the ankle, and have adequate grip on the bottom. Your parent should be able to move in them comfortably, but they should help to reduce slips and avoid stumbles.
● If your parent has slick floors in their home, such as polished wood, tile, laminate, or granite, it is important for them to be able to dry their feet when they get inside from inclement winter weather. Absorbent mats or towels placed inside allow your parent to step safely onto these so they can remove their shoes and move more safely across the floor.
● Be extremely careful when walking on any outdoor surface. Ice can be very difficult to detect, especially for a senior with low vision, and can cause a slip and fall before your parent even realizes what’s happening. Make sure any senior with mobility issues has proper support from you or a home care provider when walking outside.
● Provide a secure place for your senior to stand when they are opening a car door. Sliding doors can be difficult for your senior to open in the cold, and if there is a slick surface on the ground, they may slide or slip. Placing a mat or towel on the ground for your parent to step on can reduce this risk and provide more security and safety for your parent.
● Be sure your parent dresses warmly when leaving the house. Being cold further compromises mobility by tightening muscles and joints.
● Make sure there are no objects in the way in or around your parent’s home. Electrical wires and decorations for the holidays can pose a serious tripping hazard for a loved one who might not be able to see them, might not remember they are there, or struggles to navigate around them.
Maintaining health and well-being is your top priority for your senior when you are a family caregiver for them. This means approaching their needs and challenges from a variety of different angles and helping them to maintain this health and well-being on a regular basis. Bringing home care into your routine can be a fantastic way to support this. An in-home senior care services provider can be with your aging parent on a schedule that is right not just for your parents needs, but also for the care you already give them. This means you stay at the forefront of your parent’s care while giving them the freedom, independence, and control to live the life that’s right for them.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring home care in Westfield, NJ, call the caring staff at Helping Hands Home Care today at 908-418-4299. Providing Home Care Services in all of Northern and Central NJ, including Clark, Westfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, Rahway, Linden, Summit, Edison, Elizabeth, Mountainside and the surrounding areas.
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