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Aging Gracefully: Mitigating Elderly Slip and Fall Risks

As we grow older, our risk of falling increases. However, there are many things we can do to help prevent slips and falls. Taking proactive steps can allow an elderly relative to age gracefully while remaining steady on their feet. Whether they are currently living in assisted living accommodation or are still at home, read on to learn more about the potential risks that could lead to devastating slip and fall accidents.

Evaluate the Home for Fall Hazards

A home assessment can identify risky areas. Check for loose rugs, clutter, poor lighting, slippery surfaces in the bathroom, and lack of handrails on stairs or in showers. Have an occupational therapist do a walk-through to recommend modifications like grab bars, railings, raised toilet seats, non-slip mats, and improved lighting. These simple changes can make all the difference.

Improve Strength and Balance

A lack of strength and balance raises the fall risk. Ensure your senior engages in regular exercise that improves coordination, core muscles, and balance—like tai chi, yoga, or water aerobics. Walking aids like canes and walkers can also help compensate for age-related loss of stability. Be sure they use mobility aids as directed by a doctor. When they are improperly used, they can actually increase the chance of falling.

Have Annual Physicals

Medications, blood pressure changes, foot problems, and vision issues can all contribute to falls. A doctor may recommend reducing medications that cause drowsiness or dizziness. They can also check for motor coordination problems that could indicate neurological diseases. Annual vision tests are also important, as poor eyesight makes tripping more likely.

Use Assistive Devices Properly

Devices like canes, walkers, and wheelchairs help by providing extra support and stability. However, they only work when used correctly. A physical therapist can ensure your parent knows how to properly size, position, and maneuver the device they need. Using aids improperly or ones that don’t fit can do more harm than good. Don’t buy drugstore assistive devices without professional advice.

Pay Attention to Foot Health

Keep feet healthy to help avoid stumbling. Foot pain, discomfort, ulcers, bunions, and corns can throw off balance and alignment leading to accidents. Be sure to wear properly fitting shoes with non-slip soles. Make sure your senior sees a podiatrist annually to catch and treat foot issues early. Don’t try to self-medicate foot problems with over-the-counter medications without medical advice.

Prevent Falls, Preserve Independence

Falls threaten health, wellbeing and independence—but many are preventable. Evaluating and modifying the home, engaging in regular exercise, being aware of physical changes through checkups, using assistive equipment as needed, and paying attention to foot health are vital steps as we age.

Committing to these simple measures helps ensure a loved one can continue living vibrant, engaged lives safely in the homes they love. Taking proactive steps allows them to age gracefully on steady feet by mitigating the chance of a dangerous, life-altering slip or fall. But if the worst does happen and they suffer a slip and fall injury on someone else’s premises, speak to a personal injury attorney from Pardy & Rodriguez. We are here to help.

Visit one of our offices below:

  • Orlando – 315 Park Lake Cir., Orlando, FL 32803
  • Tampa – 11700 N. 58th St., Ste. A, Temple Terrace, FL 33617
  • Kissimmee – 1052 E. Osceola Parkway, Kissimmee, FL 34744
  • Poinciana – 4663 Old Pleasant Hill Road, Poinciana, FL 34759
  • Davenport – 40230 US Highway 27, Suite 140, Davenport, FL 33837
  • Bradenton – 409 6th Avenue East, Bradenton, FL 34208

Call now for a free consultation on (888) 522-0222.

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