HELPFUL INFORMATION FOR GUARDIANS AND CAREGIVERS

Helpful Information for Guardians and Caregivers

Did you know that 1 in 3 Americans aged 65+ falls every year?  Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. Falls are costly in dollars and in quality of life.  However, falling is not an inevitable part of aging. Through practical lifestyle adjustments, evidence-based programs, and community partnerships, the number of falls among seniors can be reduced substantially.  The National Council on Aging’s National Falls Prevention Resource Center supports the implementation of evidence-based falls prevention programs and serves as a national clearinghouse of tools and best practices.  This is an incredible resource which is available to guardians and caregivers at no expense.

The Council offers these tips for preventing falls:

  1.  Find a good balance and exercise program. The key is to develop strength and flexibility.
  1.  Talk to your healthcare provider. Discuss prior incidents and request an assessment of fall risk.
  1.  Regularly review medications with your loved one’s pharmacist.  Drug interactions may very well be causing instability.
  1.  Have vision and hearing checked annually. Deficits in either of these areas can easily result in falls.
  1.  Make the home safe by removing trip hazards and consider installing rails where appropriate. Lighting should also be examined.

Falling is not a normal part of the aging process.  Staying at home and limiting activities does not lower the risks of a fall.  Moreover, physical activities will enable seniors to stay independent.  Some seniors are concerned that the use of a walker or cane will make them dependent upon these devices.  However, the fact is that they will actually help maintain or improve mobility.