More and more of us are choosing to age in place and grow old in our own homes—which is great! Sadly, injuries suffered at home are still one of the leading causes of hospitalization and accidental death for people over the age of 65. Chief among these potentially fatal accidents are falls. But new research shows that targeted physical therapy can help prevent falls at home and keep your loved ones safer even if they do fall.
Do Your Part to Prevent Falls at Home
Fall prevention is often the first thing people think about when they begin to make homes safer for elderly individuals. Railings on stairways and grab bars in bathrooms and shower stalls are wonderful. As are slip-resistant coatings for tubs and specialized pillows or railings at the edge of the bed. When used properly, these devices can dramatically reduce the risk of falls at home. Removing trip hazards is another essential part of making a home safe for individuals who are unstable on their feet or suffer muscle weakness. Hazards include (but aren’t limited to):
- Area (or throw) rugs
- Wires, cables, or cords (such as TV cables or a lamp’s electrical cord)
- Doorway thresholds
- Heat registers
- Bath mats
Eliminating or mitigating these hazards is something that every in-home caregiver in Allen, Texas should recommend . . . if you haven’t taken care of them already.
But is it Enough?
One-third of all people over the age of 65 will suffer an injury caused by a fall. Unfortunately, injuries from falls are the leading cause of death within that same age group and can often lead to life-threatening complications (such as infection) even when the fall itself is survivable.
If your elderly loved one survives a fall at home they’re not out of the woods yet. Two-thirds of those 65 or older who suffer one fall will fall victim to another within six months.
Muscle Training Helps Seniors Prevent Harmful Falls at Home
Going beyond fall prevention devices may be the answer to increased longevity and improved quality of life. Research from Duke University’s NUS Medical School shows that elderly individuals who underwent targeted physical therapy specifically designed to strengthen muscles as recommended by SAFE research (Steps To Avoid Falls in Elderly) fared much better after falling than those individuals who did not undergo treatment.
While the training did nothing to decrease the overall number of falls, those who underwent this specific type of physical therapy were able to weather those falls much better—cutting the number of falls resulting in medical treatment or serious disruption to daily routines by half.
You owe it to yourself and your loved one to speak with their medical provider about physical therapy options available to them.
You Can’t Always Be There
Never feel guilty about not being with your aging loved one all the time. You need to live your life but it can be scary to think of them at home alone. Second Family Home Care can eliminate those worries. Our professional caregivers offer non-medical in home care in Allen, Texas and the surrounding areas. Whether you simply need companion services or something a little more involved, our providers are here for you.
Get in touch to see how we help your loved ones live at home longer. Call (972) 347-0700 today or email us to schedule your in-home consultation.