5 Fall Prevention Tips for Seniors

a senior woman with mobility cane, fall prevention tips for seniors

When you’re caring for a senior, you strive to keep them on their feet, physically, mentally and emotionally. The best way to do this is by preventing falls… which are more common than you think. In fact, one in four older adults fall every year

People aged 65+ in America suffer 36 million falls every year, which often cause serious injuries that can be demoralizing. Sometimes, the fear of falling can be just as impactful because falling just once, doubles your chance of falling again

The good news is that most falls are easily prevented. So, know the facts, be proactive and make fall prevention a priority. And, before we do that, note that NOVA much prefers using the terms “older adults” or “older people” over senior or senior citizen, but we use those words to engage with the common lexicon. 

5 Fall Prevention Tips for Seniors

Caregivers can help older adults avoid fall hazards and promote safe mobility by adhering to these fall prevention tips. When you embrace these guidelines, you can empower individuals to be in command of their safety, independence and mobility. 

1. Preventing Bathroom Falls

Everyday routines in the bathroom can become hazardous for people with mobility issues. In fact, most falls at home happen in the bathroom. Here are a ways you can prevent a fall in the bathroom:

  • Shower Safety: You can make the shower/bathtub safer by adding a non-slip mat, bath chair, and grab rails. You can also add a transfer bench if the bathtub is too high for the older adult to safely step over. Adding bathroom safety products to your existing bathroom only takes minutes of time and a trip to your independent pharmacy or medical supply dealer. This is also a much more affordable option than redoing the bathroom altogether. 
  • Toilet Safety: Getting on and off the toilet can be physically straining for seniors. This challenge can be easily overcome with toilet safety rails and raised toilet seats
  • Do Not Disturb Sign: Seniors need a little privacy, too! However, you should reconsider using locks on the bathroom door. If a senior falls in the bathroom and can’t get up, a locked door could prevent help from quickly reaching them. It’s safer to have a Do Not Disturb sign that your senior can hang on the door when they’re using the bathroom.

2. Preventing Bedroom Falls

Older adults can accidentally fall out of bed while they’re sleeping, or they can fall when they’re trying to get out of bed (this usually happens when the room is dark).

Bed rails can prevent seniors from falling out of bed during sleep, and they also help seniors lift themselves off the mattress.

You might also consider installing motion-activated lights so they’ll come on automatically if your senior needs to get up in the middle of the night. Incontinence issues can also prompt a senior to abruptly get out of bed at night. Having a reusable and waterproof underpad can absorb the moisture and keep the bed dry. 

3. Preventing Indoor Falls

Inside the home, an older adult is more likely to fall by tripping over something. Here are a few ways you can remove indoor trip hazards:

  • Secure loose carpet, steps, and handrails.
  • Remove rugs.
  • Use brighter light bulbs to better illuminate rooms

Try to arrange the furniture so there are clear pathways through the house. The paths should be wide enough for walkers and other mobility devices. When a home is easier for the senior to navigate, it feels more like a home!

4. Preventing Outdoor Falls

Outdoor falls are mostly caused by environmental factors, like unevenly paved roads, cracks in the sidewalk, and transitions between surfaces.

Mobility devices are the best way to prevent seniors from falling outdoors. The following devices can provide safety as well as improve overall mobility and well-being.

Use these devices to bring older adults outdoors so they have the ability and opportunity to enjoy all their favorite outdoor activities with their loved ones. Being physically active not only prevents falls, but allows seniors to be engaged with friends, family and life’s moments and milestones. 

5. Preventing Darkness / Nighttime Falls

Older adults may have difficulty moving around at nighttime or in places where there’s low light. To prevent seniors from falling in the dark, it’s best to add lights in each room of the house that turn on automatically when it’s dark. Consider using battery-powered lights so they’ll still work in the event of a power outage. You should also add a flashlight attachment to your senior’s cane, walker or rollator.

With the right assistive technology, older adults can get through the nighttime with minimal stress, and you can enjoy peace of mind.

Empower Human Ability with NOVA Products

The person you’re caring for can enjoy a life with more confidence when you focus on taking proactive steps and using assistive devices to prevent dangerous and common falls.

For more fall prevention tips for seniors and others with mobility challenges, download the NOVA Home Safety Toolbox for caregivers.

Locate a NOVA dealer today and empower the seniors in your life.

Continue learning in this related article titled The Caregiver’s Guide to Reducing Falls in Older Adults.

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