September is National Falls Prevention Month. We know the scary statistics regarding falls in those over 65! Falls are often responsible for the dreaded downhill spiral and many seniors that Do have a fall DO NOT return to Independent Living.
Here are some quick tips to help prevent falls so that seniors can remain aging in place.
Regular Exercise to improve Strength and Balance – Use it or Lose it! Now more then ever we need to get our seniors moving again since our pandemic. This is a great time to reach out to your doctor for a refresher or start of Skilled Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy intervention.
- Regular Medication Review – by your Physician, Nurse Practitioner or Pharmacist. Medications can contribute to falls in adults and regular review and communication with your health care provider is essential. Older adults may also need assist taking their medications correctly due to memory and cognitive deficits.
- Home Safety Evaluations – thorough evaluation by experts, usually PT’s or OT’s, that go into your home to assess for modifications and equipment needs to enhance safety and reduce fall risk so that seniors can continue to age in place.
- Hire a Geriatric Care Manager – care managers provide valuable guidance and resources to help with the care of a loved one that can lead to decreased falls and decline. They are able to identify if a loved one can remain aging safely in place or may be better suited for a senior community and then assist with that transition.
- Recruit Help – This can be from a family member, close friend or hired help in the home or a combination. They can provide assist to help with daily household tasks that present a fall risk, offer protection during transfers, ambulation, activities of daily living, can provide safety reminders, ensure proper medication management and can help a loved one attend regular physician appointments.
Jamie Vela is an experienced physical therapist and Home Care Specialist with our Capital City Nurses team. She has over 18 years of insight as a physical therapist in both facility and home healthcare landscapes. Jamie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Virginia Teach and a Master’s Degree is Physical Therapy from Virginia Commonwealth University.