According to the Center for Disease Control, falling is the leading cause of injury for people over the age of 65. In 2014, there were nearly 29 million falls and seven million injuries that resulted because of them. As more than 10,000 Americans turn 65 each day, caregivers need to start taking this risk more seriously.
Here are some of the ways Karena Kirk of Always Best Care – a provider of senior care in Houston TX – helps seniors deal with their risk of falling:
Providing visual cues is important to prevent falls. Caregivers can use certain gestures to let an elderly person know the floor is wet or the area they’re entering is unsafe. Seniors need to have their eyes tested regularly since weak eyesight is closely related with an increased risk of falling. A quick check of the vestibular system could also help. The ear canal provides a sense of balance and if their balance is off it could be time to check their ear canal. Seniors must also workout regularly to keep their muscles and joints in good shape. Sensory feedback from joints can help seniors prevent slips and falls. A little bit of regular exercise can go a long way towards helping your loved one regain their balance.
If your senior loved one has already lost their sense of balance there are ways to help them regain it. There are a lot of factors that contribute to the decline in balance as people age, but much of it is related to a sedentary lifestyle. Regular training and exercise is a must. Focus on improving upper and lower body strength proportionately. Try the Yoga One studio for a class on balance and meditation. Houston’s YMCA also provides a special class for the elderly that involves stretching, yoga, water exercises, and walking clubs. Tai Chi may be the best option for seniors trying to regain their sense of balance. Try Houston’s Shaolin Kung Fu Academy for a basic course on Tai Chi.
Fall-related injuries are one of the biggest risks your elderly loved one might face as they get older. As a caregiver you must do all you can to help your loved one stay fit and maintain their balance.