LUBBOCK, Texas- Caring for our loved one is important especially as they begin to age. According to the CDC one in five adults 65 and over fall, leading to life threatening injuries or even death.
AccentCare Regional Therapist Jennifer Brown said there are ways to prevent falls from happening starting with the basics; proper home lighting, adding handrails in tubs and showers and removing anything that will be a trip hazard.
“Proper shoes, this is something as a physical therapist that I harp on a lot with my patients,” Brown said. “We tend to want to put our loved ones in those soft fuzzy slippers but a lot of times those actually cause us to shuffle our feet instead of picking our feet up for a proper walking pattern.”
Brown said one of the most common times of day for falls are in the evening and at night when going to the restroom.
Managing medication is also important for fall prevention especially if they have side effects.
“One example is a blood pressure med, a lot of times blood pressure medications might cause a patient to become a little bit dizzy and might cause their blood pressure to drop lower normal,” Brown said.
Twenty percent of falls lead to life altering changes such as head injuries and broken hips.
“That’s a scary thing right, especially when you are having that fear of losing your independence at home. That’s what all of our loved ones want to stay home and [be] independent,” Brown said.
With technology there are ways to send an alert if a loved one falls alone.
“Those life alert buttons, even your apple watch,” Brown said. “The new apple watches have an indicator you had a fall on impact, and they can actually send out an emergency notification to your loved ones.”
It is also recommended to have your loved ones attend physical therapy to learn how to properly get up from a fall.