Each year, one out of four adults aged 65 and older report having a fall or fall-related injury. Falling is common, costly, and can lead to serious injury for older adults. A broken bone or head injury can also make it difficult for an elderly loved one to remain independent.
If you are a caregiver for elderly loved ones, you can help them prevent falls by sharing the following tips:
- Be active. Choose exercises that incorporate strength training, endurance, and balance.
- Schedule a vision exam. Make regular eye appointments and keep prescription eyeglasses and contacts up to date.
- Wear proper shoes. Instead of walking around barefoot or in socks, wear slippers or shoes with non-slip soles.
- Use support for balance and stability when needed. Use a cane or a walker and install handrails and a shower chair for the toilet and tub.
- Reduce alcohol intake. Drink alcohol in moderation and be aware of any interactions it may have with prescription medications.
- Make the home safe. Ensure rooms and hallways are well lit, remove things you could trip over, use non-slip floor mats, and keep frequently used items in accessible cabinets.
For more information about how to help your loved one prevent falls, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Caregiver Support for Aging Loved Ones
If you are a caregiver with questions about other ways to help care for your elderly loved ones, contact your Component Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for help. Your EAP is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you manage elder care concerns and provide you with personal support, including:
- Referrals to state-specific programs that provide elderly residents with a variety of support services including transportation, meals, or recreation;
- Legal referrals for elder law concerns;
- Financial consultations to for you and your elderly relatives; and
- Support groups in your area for caregivers.
For more information about your EAP, contact your DHS Work-Life specialist.