How to Help Seniors with Dementia Prevent Falls

Falls account for more than half of all reported senior injuries. However, fall-related injuries are often preventable. Statistics indicate that up to 30 percent of seniors fall every year. As dementia starts to impact various cognitive functions, older adults become more susceptible to falls. However, there are many ways family members can reduce fall risk and keep their elderly loved ones safe. 

Ensure Adequate Lighting

The living spaces occupied by seniors with dementia must have plenty of illumination. Indoor and outdoor walkways should be well lit. Nightlights in bedrooms, bathrooms, and other areas in the home allow for better navigation at night. Consider installing light switches that glow in the dark. Glow-in-the-dark tape strips should also be applied to the front of steps.

Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia care. Oshkosh families can rely on Senior Stride Home Care to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life.

Paint the Home with Contrasting Colors

The colors and hues older adults with dementia perceive differ compared to unaffected seniors. Thus, floors, walls, and furnishings must be significantly different in color. Floors should be solid in color and not have confusing patterns. However, contrasting colors can be used on stairs to indicate each step. Avoid black surfaces, which are often interpreted as holes. 

Clear the Pathways

All walking surfaces must be kept clean, dry, and level. Door stops shouldn’t be more than one inch in height. Area or scatter rugs must be removed or firmly secured to the floor. Indoor and outdoor pathways should be free of clutter, and outdoor walkways must be free of ice and snow during winter. Remove or replace damaged carpets or flooring, and make sure electrical cords are secured out of the way. Keep furnishings to a minimum, and remove any lightweight items that are easily toppled. 

Make the Bathroom Safe

Ensure the bathtub and shower floors have nonslip surfaces. Provide a bath bench or chair to make it easier to enter and exit the shower or tub. Install safety grab bars in the bathing area and on each side of the toilet, and set the hot water heater to below 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Consider installing a lifeline pull-type cord for emergencies.

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional elder care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.

Invest in Appropriate Footwear

Make sure your loved one’s shoes fit properly and have Velcro closures. Replace the shoes if the soles display excessive wear. Discourage your parent from walking around the home in slippers, socks, or other footwear that doesn’t provide sufficient traction. 

Increase Accessibility to Daily Items

Make sure items stored in the kitchen are at a reachable height, and keep frequently used items in the same location. Label each cupboard with the names of the items it contains. Make sure the stairways and hallways have sturdy railings. If your parent is living in a two-story or split-level home, consider moving his or her bedroom to the ground floor close to a bathroom. Keep favorite items and lamps close to his or her bedside. 

Dementia can make it difficult for older adults to manage everyday activities. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, medication reminders, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Senior Stride Home Care, a leading provider of at-home care Oshkosh families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. To learn about our high-quality in-home care options, give us a call today.

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