Preventing Senior Hospitalizations Part 3

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Part 3 of our Preventing Senior Hospitalizations campaign!

Reduce Risks of Falls and Accidents

Did you know that one in three older adults falls each year?  However only half tell their doctor.  Falls are warning signs that something else may be going on.

The Signs and Risks - Some signs that a senior may be a fall risk and could end up in the hospital include:

• Previous falls and accidents

• Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia diagnosis

• Inactivity

• Isolation

• Presence of throw rugs and other tripping hazards

• Lack of grab bars and proper lighting

• Problems with vision or hearing

• Decrease in gait speed or shuffling

• Mobility issues

So what can you do to prevent these falls?  Home Instead Senior Care put together an assessment and balance video at PreventSeniorHospitalizations.com so a family member can determine the potential risk a senior may have of falling.​ 

The most common reason we see for falls that has nothing to do with health is the layout/decorating of a senior's home.  How many times have you seen mom trip on that old rug at the kitchen sink while she is washing dishes?  Or how many times have you asked your Dad if you could replace the hallway light so he could see better at night?  Seniors do not like change, most people do not like change no matter their age.  So suggestions such as these are hard for them to accept.

There comes a time when as the family member you have to put your foot down or take a stand or become the "adult" in your relationship with your senior family member.  There is a great Home Safety Checklist at Caregiverstress.com that you can use to conduct your own assessment.  Simple things like removing scatter rugs, installing proper lighting, removing or fixing extension cords and adding grab bars to the bathroom can enable your family member to stay home longer.

March 20th kicked off Spring!  So now is a great time to do some Spring Cleaning!  Have your mother come over your house and supervise your cleaning, then offer to do hers as well!  Changes made to the home will not seem like an attack on them or their home if you make it fun.  Offer to donate any items that they may not be using anymore, since there are so many people who can use them.

Safety is an important part in remaining at home!  Be proactive with your senior family member to help they stay where they want to be - their home!​

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