If your loved one has recently fallen, we want you to know they aren’t alone. The fact is, one out of every three seniors fall each year. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the number one cause of injuries for older Americans each year. These statistics help gain perspective as to why falling is a major concern, not only for you but for your loved one as well.
The other side of the coin is helping your loved one is assisting them in overcoming their fears after a fall. At LifeFone, we have four steps to take to help them restore their confidence after a fall.
Step One: Acknowledge their fear
It’s important to acknowledge the validity of your loved one’s fear about taking a spill. The fear is very real. It’s easy to imagine the possibility of what life looks like after a fall; and those possibilities can seem overwhelming. An extended hospital stay, time spent in a rehabilitation facility, possible decreased mobility and the real possibility of losing their independence. Maintain open communication, allowing them to speak freely can help them be more confident as they go through their day.
Step Two: Talk with the doctor
A doctor can recommend the right type of physical or occupational therapy designed to get your loved one back on the right track. Therapy can help them build strength and also help prevent against future falls.
Discuss the right kind of exercise with your loved one and the doctor. Exercise is important to build healthy bones and muscles, but it’s equally as important to ensure they aren’t over doing it and causing potential damage.
Step Three: Take steps to prevent future falls
If the home is safe and easier for your loved one to maneuver, their confidence will likely improve. At LifeFone, we recently wrote about home modifications that could assist in ensuring their safety. They need to not only feel safe, they need to ‘be’ safe. A few of the practical changes that can be made are:
- Remove items they might trip over, especially on or near stairs
- Use bath mats in the shower
- Keep the home well-lit inside and out
- Install grab bars in the bathroom and at the bedside
- Make sure banisters and stair treads are in good repair
- Get rid of throw rugs and extension cords that may present a fall risk
Step Four: Invest in a medical alert system
With one touch of a button on their medical alert device, emergency help is on the way. We can also alert the caregiver to the emergency. Knowing that there is a network of support can help your loved one when it comes to regaining confidence after a fall.
While these tips may not bring back mobility lost to physical injuries, they can help your loved one regain her confidence and help regain independence for a fuller, happier life.