Stay on your Feet: Fall Prevention Tips for Seniors

Discover practical strategies to reduce fall risks and support your parents to live life to the fullest.

As we age, the risk of falls can increase, often leading to serious injuries and a loss of independence. However, with proactive measures and awareness, seniors can significantly reduce their risk of falling, giving them the confidence to go about their day as usual. 

In this article, we’ll provide the essential fall prevention strategies to keep Mum and Dad mobile and happy.

Fall prevention through regular exercise

Regular exercise is essential in reducing the fall risk among seniors. Frequent exercise enhances balance, coordination, strength, and flexibility – all critical for preserving stability and averting falls.

Seated exercises are a great place to start, particularly for those with more difficult mobility (or after a fall with your GP’s blessing). The NHS website has some simple chair exercises to get you started.

Strength training activities improve bone density and muscle tone, lowering the risk of fractures in a fall. Balance and coordination exercises like tai chi or yoga can also help seniors improve their control over their movements and their ability to respond quickly to changes in their equilibrium.

For inspiration, we have created a list of exercise classes in Farnborough and surrounds catering to Elderly-Friendly exercise classes: 

A group of elderly people enjoying a seated yoga exercise class.

Be more mindful about diet and sleep

Eating well, staying hydrated and getting a good night’s sleep are good for the body, especially when it comes to your senses and body reactions during or after a fall.

Consider how you can work in simple but nutritious meals, even if medication spoils appetites.

Consider making environments, like living rooms, easy to nap in. That can be especially helpful after a poor night’s rest.

Medication management reduces fall risks

Medication management is crucial in reducing the fall risk among older people. Drug side effects, such as sleepiness or dizziness, may considerably increase the chance of falling.

Healthcare professionals should regularly examine and monitor drugs to detect potential dangers and make any modifications or changes.

Our Care Professionals are ideally placed to recognise, report and record any changes in clients after taking medication so we can alert medical professionals immediately to any concerns.

A safe environment is a happy environment

A safe environment reduces risks. Obstructions, including clutter, slick surfaces, and poor lighting, could cause accidents. 

Eliminating trip hazards, adding grab bars to bathrooms, and installing extra handrails on staircases can help seniors walk around their homes safely and confidently. 

Having adequate lighting enhances visibility and lowers the risk of falls or mishaps, especially in poorly lit regions. 

Battery-operated floor-level motion-sensor lights are a quick and cost-effective way to add more lighting to hallways, bathrooms and bedrooms. 

To further improve safety, ensure that furniture is positioned for easy transit and that walkways are clear.

In addition to lowering the risk of falls, a safe environment helps seniors maintain their independence and peace of mind, enabling them to age in comfort and security. If you’d like more information on this, read our guide to creating a senior-friendly home

Elderly person holding onto a handrail for support.

Fall prevention starts with the proper footwear

Proper footwear is essential in reducing fall risks among older people by providing support, stability, and traction.

Quality shoes with good arch support and non-slip soles help distribute body weight evenly, minimising the chances of slipping or losing balance, particularly on slippery surfaces. Prioritising supportive, non-slip footwear enables seniors to maintain their independence, mobility, and overall safety, empowering them to navigate various environments confidently and reducing the risk of falls and related injuries.

Our Director at Home Instead Farnborough, Farnham & Fleet, Mahdi Kazemzadeh, delves into the significance of wearing the proper footwear in reducing fall risks for older people in our Older Wiser Together podcast, “Fall Prevention Starts with the Right Shoes” on Spotify.

How hearing affects fall risks

People with clear aural perception can respond and modify their motions in response to environmental risks, such as oncoming cars or people. Hearing loss can make it more challenging to interpret auditory cues, raising the risk of mishaps and falls, particularly in crowded or bustling areas. Additionally, the sense of sound plays a role in spatial awareness, aiding in balance and safe environment navigation.

Frequent hearing evaluations and assistive technology can improve general communication and quality of life for Mum and Dad and increase safety by encouraging independence and self-assurance in their day-to-day activities.

An elderly woman is having her ear examined as part of a hearing test by a doctor.

Restricted vision impacts the likeliness of falls

Just as those with hearing challenges face extra obstacles in spatial awareness, so do those with poor eyesight. Regular sight tests and medication checks can prevent many problems. So, too, can simple home updates, such as better lighting, non-slip flooring, deeper colour contrasts, removing obstacles from walkways and organisation.

Always think about how you can simplify tasks.

The fall prevention home visit service from Home Instead is completely Free!

“At Home Instead, we take fall risks seriously, so we’ve committed to keeping our fall prevention home visit service free of charge.”

Maureen Cesano
Health and Social Care Trainer

Our care professionals will visit your home and conduct a short risk factor test in which clients are asked to perform a sit-to-stand in 12 seconds or less, march on the spot for 10-15 seconds, and stand unaided for over 20 seconds. 

We ask about their previous fall history, medications, and if any of their meds are psychotropic.

We conduct a walk-around to assess the house for hazards on the routes that Mum and Dad walk daily (bed to the bathroom, onto the landing and downstairs, stair-lifts, kitchen to the living room, and the like).

Armed with this information, we type up a report, which we then send to you with our recommendations for improving home safety.

A home instead care professional chatting with an elderly man in his home

Contact us today at 01252 758 716 for a consultation and discover how our services can enhance your loved one's quality of life.

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