It’s natural to be concerned when you see your aging loved one isolating themselves and no longer wanting to participate in activities they once loved. Unfortunately, it’s not always obvious what causes this withdrawal that is often a clear sign of depression. However, many experts agree that the fear of falling is often directly related to a senior withdrawing and suffering from depression.
Repeated fearful thoughts that a fall will render them helpless or result in their being placed in a rehabilitation center or nursing home if they break a hip, arm, or leg are frightening to them. These thoughts can keep seniors from socializing and staying active, no matter how much encouragement they receive. This withdrawal can often lead to depressed feelings.
The good news is that with some fall prevention education and modifications, a caregiver and senior can work together and help the senior more confidently continue to be active outside of the home and keep the onset of depression at bay.
Ways to Implement Fall Prevention for a Senior Loved One
- Have a mobility assessment done to determine your loved one’s risk level of falling. Take into account any history of falls they’ve had in the past.
- Conduct a home safety assessment. Then, some modifications can be made to help reduce the risk of falls, including installing grab bars in bathrooms, ensuring there is adequate lighting throughout the home, and removing any obstacles that can create hazards. Other home safety tips include these five:
- Have handrails on both sides of the stairs and make sure they’re tightly fastened.
- Check that all carpets are fixed firmly to the floor so they won’t slip. Don’t use throw rugs or small area rugs.
- Put no-slip strips on tile and wooden floors.
- Turn on night lights.
- Keep electric cords near walls and away from walking paths.
- Create an open dialogue with your senior that allows them to confide in you regarding their fears.
- Host activities in the home. Many senior centers have groups that will hold get-togethers in seniors’ homes to keep them active and accommodate their interests, including things like playing cards, quilting, and knitting.
Let Us Help With Your Senior Loved One’s Fear of Falling
Dependable Senior Care, serving the Palm Beach and Broward areas, has years of experience keeping seniors safe at home. Our trained caregivers help seniors stay active and engaged. Many times, companionship care is what’s needed to help stave off depression.
Contact us today to schedule a free in-home assessment. While we’re there, we’ll be happy to visit with you about steps you can take to reduce the risk of falls in your home.