One of Caregivers' Many Jobs - Preventing Falls
November is National Caregiver Month, which recognizes the roles caregivers play to help older loved ones remain safe and independent in their own homes and communities. One of the most important jobs a caregiver can do is to help loved ones understand their risk of falling and help them make the changes that can help prevent falls. But what can a caregiver do when their loved one doesn’t want to think about, much less talk about, falls and how to keep from falling?
A caregiver can:
- Focus on the fun aspect of getting out and moving and doing things your loved one likes. Offer to exercise with her or do any activity she enjoys or would like to try. Being physically active helps to build balance and strengthen muscles.
- Help your loved one re-decorate and rearrange his home. With his agreement, you can make simple, inexpensive changes that are attractive, yet still reduce the risk of slipping, tripping or falling. Installing extra lighting to brighten stairs and storing frequently used kitchen items within reach can make a loved one’s life easier, as well as safer.
- Help your loved one clean and de-clutter her home. Again, with her agreement, you can help her get rid of clutter and move seldom used items to a safe location out the path where she usually walks.
The goal is to work with your loved one to help improve the quality of his or her life. And in the process, you can reduce their risk of falls.
Visit www.steadyu.ohio.gov to find more tips and resources.
The numbers are in and once again Ohio smashed our 10 Million Steps goal! More than 16,000 Ohioans, walked 31,000 miles, totaling more than 78 million steps to raise awareness about older adult falls! Thank you to all who participated in this year’s 10 Million Steps to Prevent Falls campaign. Each year the event gets bigger, which means we are able to reach more people with our message. Be sure to visit the STEADY U website regularly to learn about upcoming events and campaigns.
Caregivers must balance between ensuring their loved one is safe and respecting her freedom and right to make decisions for herself. A single fall can change someone’s life significantly. Using the Falls Risk Self-assessment www.aging.ohio.gov/steadyu/assessment can help loved ones see their health and environment in new ways.