Helping loved ones with Alzheimer’s and Dementia not fall is a hard, but important task.
As we age, health issues become a much more serious challenge in our lives. How we deal with those health issues and what we do to help prevent them are of utmost importance, especially if we are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, Dementia, or other form of memory loss.
People living with Alzheimer’s or dementia face a greater risk of dangerous falls that can cause serious ailments. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) reports that 30% of those aged 65 and older fall each year. This percentage increases substantially in dementia patients. Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries. However, there are real, tangible steps a caregiver can take to decrease the chances of their loved one falling.
Five Steps To Prevent Falls
- Encourage exercise: It’s important to keep your loved one moving, even if it’s just with minimal exercise. Leg lifts are good, even if the person is sitting. Moving feet back and forth will not only help strengthen legs, but help with circulation. You can participate as well so your loved one believes it’s also helping you.
- Rearrange certain rooms: Remove anything off higher shelves completely. Falls can easily happen when stepping onto a stool to get something off a top shelf.
- Add support items to your bathroom: Install multiple grab bars in your bathroom and particularly in your shower. Non-slip adhesive strips are essential in any bathroom of someone living with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Finally, have a very sturdy shower chair (to prevent them from tipping over) and a raised toilet, which will make it easier for them to stand up.
- Pay close attention to what they have on their feet: Make sure your loved one isn’t wearing big fluffy slippers or flip-flops. Find and encourage something more practical and easy for them to wear, but take off easily.
- Make sure your street address is visible: If you need a first responder to come to your home should there be a fall, they need to quickly see your address. Be sure your address is very visible to those on the street.
There are many steps you can take to make life easier and safer for your loved one. These five ideas are simply a start and are steps we take for our residents at our Grand Brook communities. We are pleased to share them with you. We encourage you to take all the necessary precautions to make your home as safe as possible for your loved ones that have memory issues, like Alzheimer’s or dementia.