Nationwide, the medical cost of care following a fall comes to around $50 billion. Around $38 billion of that is paid by Medicaid and Medicare. It’s estimated that 25 percent of men and women over the age of 65 fall at least once in a year.
What leads to these falls?
It can be a side effect of prescription medications. It can be weakening muscles, changing eyesight, or joint pain. Sometimes, it’s as simple as stumbling over items close to the path of travel or are harder to see in the dark during a bathroom trip.
What Can You Do?
-Start by modifying the home. Grab bars in and outside the bathtub/shower, offer stability while going in and out a shower. Grab bars near the toilet help when it’s time to stand back up. In long, narrow hallways, a rail along the wall gives a person something to hold while walking.
-Brighter lighting on stairs and in entryways helps. At night, if your parent needs to get up to go to the bathroom, motion-activated nightlights help illuminate the area where your parent walks.
-Sign your mom or dad up for a Yoga or Tai Chi class. Studies find these exercise forms help strengthen muscle and improve balance. If medication side effects are to blame, talk to their doctors if there’s an optional medication or a better time of day to take it.
Is There a Better Way to Fall?
When a person falls, the instinct is to fall on the side or throw arms and hands out as a buffer. That can actually lead to a hip or wrist fracture. Professional stunts people say the best way to fall is by rolling into the fall with bent knees and elbows or landing on a fleshier part of the body like the backside. Always tuck the chin to the chest to avoid a head injury.
If your parent has fallen, it’s important that doctor’s orders are followed. You may need to hire home care aides to help with meals, grooming, and personal care. Your mom or dad will likely need to do exercises each day to help strengthen the muscles and improve mobility.
A home care agency can help your mom and dad with transportation to and from medical offices and stores. They’ll send a caregiver as often as is needed. Call now to learn more and to get rates.