Archive for the ‘Home Safety’ Category

Seniors & Fall Prevention: How Can You Help Your Aging Loved One?

March 5th, 2018 No Comments

Fall Prevention

If your aging parents or older relatives still live in their own home, you may worry for their safety when you can’t be with them. This fear is understandable, as one in four older Americans experiences a fall every year. In fact, falls are the leading cause of physical injuries–such as hip fractures and broken bones–in adults over the age of 65. Falls are also the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries in people over 65.

In addition to the physical impact of falls, fear of falling can create intense emotional distress and even depression in many seniors. This can cause them to refrain from leaving their home or engaging in physical activity.

Is your aging loved one at risk of falling? Here’s how to help.

Do a Home Safety Assessment

It can be difficult to know which areas of your loved one’s home pose the biggest risk for falls. Many of us take a defensive position when it comes to home safety–we don’t correct an issue until a fall or stumble has already happened.

However, it’s important to be proactive when it comes to fall prevention and older people. A serious fall can lead to extreme physical pain, hospitalization or even prolonged disability.

A fall can also lead to psychological distress, including increased fear, anxiety, and uncertainty.  Fear of falling can also increase a senior’s actual fall-risk. Seniors who are afraid of falling exhibit less confidence in their movements and tend to withdraw from physical activity. Lack of physical activity then leads to muscle weakness and lack of balance. These issues compound to increase a senior’s likelihood of experiencing a fall.

A home safety assessment is one of the most effective ways to eliminate tripping and fall hazards in one go. Take a look at the home objectively and pay particular attention to potential fall hazards. You may need to rearrange furniture, enhance lighting, remove throw rugs and cords, or install railing in key spots to reduce or eliminate fall-risk.

Get Vision Correction Materials

Does your loved one have eyesight problems? Does he or she regularly visit the eye doctor and keep up-to-date on their vision prescription, glasses and contacts?

Vision impairment is one of the leading causes of falls by aging individuals in the home. Many older people don’t realize that their vision is worsening. If they are no longer driving or working, it can be difficult for them to gauge vision loss as it may have occurred gradually. It can also be difficult for them to keep eye appointments or make trips to an optical retailer.

Ask about their vision and current vision prescription. Arrange to take them to an eye appointment if they complain of worsening vision.

Improve Strength, Balance, and Gait

According to Institut Nazareth et Louis Braille, lack of balance, weak muscles and uneven gait are main contributors to falls in the home.

  • Many seniors experience muscle weakness and lack of balance as a natural part of aging.
  • Uneven gait is also common, as many seniors have experienced bone fractures or injuries that affect their posture and ability to walk.
  • It’s important to help your loved one stay active. A walk each day or other physical activity can help them build strength. Physical activity can also help improve balance.

If you worry about your loved one getting enough physical activity during the day, a home health care provider–such as professional caregiver employees from Visiting Angels–can help encourage your older parent to take frequent walks, do physical therapy exercises, and be more active overall, with confidence knowing they have a safety supervisor by their side.

Contact Visiting Angels today to learn more about our home health care and personal assistance services in New Jersey.

Is Someone You Love In Danger? In-Home Safety Supervision of Seniors

August 2nd, 2017 1 Comment

Is Someone You Love In Danger?

Seniors who live at home may enjoy having a feeling of independence and the comfort of being in their own space. However, sometimes being alone isn’t safe for seniors, and it can help to have someone in the house making sure that they are safe and healthy. One good solution for seniors living at their own homes is in-home safety supervision. People trained in safety supervision can ensure that seniors enjoy a feeling of independence while remaining uninjured or unharmed.

What Does Safety Supervision Entail?

Safety supervision can entail a number of services that help keep people independent. Some of the most common include shopping assistance (making sure a person is safe while shopping—such as reaching for items, walking to and from the store, carrying packages, etc.), assistance with transportation (helping a person in and out of a vehicle, for example), and supervision while cooking. Care providers also supervise trips to the bathroom, bath or shower time, grooming, and dressing. Safety supervision can also be helpful if a senior wants to exercise at home or is instructed to do physical therapy exercises as part of their recovery.

4 Reasons They Need Safety Supervision

Not all seniors need safety supervision, but there are certain signs for people that do. A senior may benefit from in-home safety supervision if they experience any of the following:

  • Frailty, which makes daily tasks difficult and falling likely
  • Mobility issues, which limit the ability to complete important routine tasks like getting to the bathroom
  • Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, which impair a person’s memory and keep them from remembering how to complete routine activities
  • A stroke, which can have after-effects that make living at home, caring for oneself and navigating a space challenging

Who Provides Safety Supervision?

In addition to the careful attention of family caregivers, safety supervision is a service that can be provided by home health care professionals. These people are trained to recognize the scenarios in which seniors might be at risk for injuries, and who know the typical daily difficulties people encounter as they age. Trained safety supervisors can make life safer, easier, and more enjoyable for seniors who live at home.

If you have a senior in your life who might benefit from in-home care, reach out to Visiting Angels at (609) 883-8188. Our trained and state-certified employee caregivers can help adults live safely and comfortably in their own homes, and they can help with safety supervision, housekeeping, personal care, and more.