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Reducing The Risk Of Falls With Home Nursing Care

by | Dec 27, 2023 | Caregivers Concern

As individuals grow older, they may become more susceptible to experiencing falls. This is often attributed to various factors such as worsening eyesight, compromised balance and coordination skills, and reduced muscle strength. The combination of these elements can disrupt one’s sense of stability and lead to a delayed reaction time. 

Furthermore, those with medical conditions like cataracts, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, heart problems, dementia or osteoarthritis face an increased likelihood of falling.

Falls pose a serious threat and can result in significant suffering and harm, ranging from broken bones to traumatic brain injuries that severely impede one’s ability to function normally. The aftermath of falls can be dire, leading to disability, loss of control over one’s life, or even death. 

It is absolutely crucial that we recognize these dangers in order to take proactive measures against them. By establishing a secure and well-structured living environment and utilizing appropriate assistive devices as necessary, we possess the capability to effectively ward off falls within the confines of our own residences.

In order to minimize the chances of falls, it is crucial to take into account your loved one’s daily routines and ensure their ability to engage in them. Moreover, acquiring suitable eyewear can significantly enhance their eyesight and decrease the likelihood of accidents. 

Wearing slip-resistant footwear indoors is another effortless measure that can have a profound impact on fall prevention. If needed, utilizing walking aids can provide additional stability. Lastly, regular medical check-ups and adhering to medication instructions are vital components in preserving their overall health and well-being.

Please make sure to keep an eye out for any adverse reactions to the medications you have been prescribed. If there are any spills, please attend to them right away. In the living room, make sure to keep all wires and cords neatly arranged and safely stored.

Arrange the furniture in a way that allows your loved one to move around freely without any potential hazards. For the stairways, it is important to keep them clear of any objects and ensure there is enough lighting to prevent accidents. If possible, consider installing handrails on both sides of the stairs for added stability.

Make sure your loved one can easily reach and use the light switches in their bedroom so they can feel comfortable. Also, put night lights along the path between the bathroom and bedroom to create a well-lit passage at night. 

Be careful when getting out of bed to avoid feeling dizzy or lightheaded. Improve bathroom safety by installing strong grab rails next to the toilet and non-slip mats on the floor. Think about getting a shower chair and a portable shower head to make bathing easier for your loved one.

In the kitchen, let’s provide a stool to make it easier for them to reach high shelves. We can also make their daily tasks more manageable by organizing frequently used items on lower shelves. Additionally, we should ensure that all wires and cords are neatly hidden to prevent any electrical accidents. Remember, falls can have serious consequences for older adults, so it’s crucial to consult with a doctor if someone you care about experiences a fall. 

They can evaluate their risk and offer the necessary support. The doctor will carefully assess the patient’s fall history, medication usage, walking style and balance, vision capacity, cardiovascular health (including heart rate, rhythm and blood pressure), as well as the need for walking aids like canes or walkers.

In order to enhance balance, the patient may also be referred to a physiotherapist for specialized training. It is of utmost importance to recognize the significance of scheduling regular follow-up appointments with the doctor. These consultations are crucial for effectively managing and identifying any potential factors that could increase the risk of falling at an earlier stage. 

Additionally, maintaining constant vigilance regarding any potential decline in your loved one’s health is absolutely critical, as it may require adjustments or modifications in their living conditions. As their physical strength diminishes, it is imperative that you promptly discuss the completion of an Advance Care Plan with the doctor.

Utilizing assistive tools can greatly improve mobility while ensuring their safety at home. If you live in an HDB flat with a senior aged 60 or older, there are plenty of helpful resources available to make your home more senior-friendly.

The EASE program, offered by HDB, is dedicated to enhancing the lives of our beloved elderly community. By providing subsidized installation of elder-friendly features like grab bars and ramps, this initiative ensures that our seniors can navigate their homes with utmost safety and comfort.

The Health Promotion Board extends their unwavering support through a plethora of valuable resources such as helpful tips, an informative guidebook, and educational videos on fall prevention.

The importance of regular exercise in preventing falls among seniors cannot be overstated. It is highly recommended that they engage in moderate-intensity aerobic activity for 150-300 minutes per week to effectively enhance their endurance levels. 

Additionally, it is crucial for them to incorporate strength training exercises into their routine, as well as partake in activities like Tai Chi or Pilates at least three times a week to maintain optimal balance and flexibility throughout their daily activities.

On the remaining days of the week, engaging in activities such as brisk walking, Zumba, or cycling can greatly improve heart health and circulation. By consistently committing to exercise, seniors will experience improved balance and walking ability while significantly reducing their risk of falling.

In order to effectively manage the symptoms of postural hypotension, it is highly beneficial to incorporate regular physical activity into your daily routine. It is important to recognize that weakened bones are more susceptible to fractures and can lead to osteoporosis. To counteract this risk, it is imperative to ensure a daily intake of foods that are rich in calcium. 

Opt for nourishing options like low-fat milk, sardines, and cheese to ensure a healthy intake of calcium. Additionally, sunlight plays a crucial role in maintaining strong bones by facilitating the absorption of vitamin D – an essential nutrient for calcium uptake. Include eggs, cod liver oil, and fatty fish like tuna, salmon, and sardines in your diet to enhance your vitamin D levels. 

Make it a habit to enjoy a leisurely walk outdoors when the sun is out; just 15 to 30 minutes under sunlight each day can help maximize your vitamin D level. However, be cautious about engaging in outdoor activities during the hottest hours from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm for optimal well-being.

Remember to schedule an annual eye examination to maintain good vision and detect any potential eye problems like glaucoma, cataracts, or incorrect glasses prescriptions. It’s also important to be mindful of alcohol consumption as it can negatively affect your balance and reflexes, increasing the risk of falls, fractures, or other accidents.

The importance of home nursing care cannot be emphasized enough when it comes to reducing the risks of falls for senior citizens. Through evaluations, care strategies, and vigilant supervision, home nurses excel at recognizing and addressing potential hazards that may result in falls within a person’s home. By empowering seniors to take charge of their own safety, home nurses provide a nurturing environment for their well-being.

About Growing Needs

About Growing Needs

Growing Needs grew out of our own encounters with caring for our aging parents and reflecting on the Growing Needs that we ourselves would face as we advance in years. We hope to build a community that will learn, share and contribute towards caring for the growing needs of our loved ones.

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