Falls are all too common in older adults‚ one-in-three fall every year. Falls have become the leading cause of injury and injury-related death in those 65 and older.
But falls are preventable and do not have to be an inevitable part of the aging process. Working together with the medical team and an in-home care provider, like Comfort Home Care, you can reduce your loved one’s risk of falling and prevent life-changing injuries.
Comfort Home Care provides comprehensive in-home care for seniors in Montgomery County and Prince George’s County, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. Our professionally certified aides help seniors maintain their independence so they can live in their own homes safely. We give family members peace of mind, knowing that their loved one is safe and supported with compassionate care.
The Facts About Falls in our Seniors
- 36 million senior falls are reported annually with 1-in-5 resulting in an injury (broken bones or head injury).
- Fall related injuries are responsible for over 3 million ER visits annually with more than 950,000 those resulting in hospitalization.
- Falls are the cause of more than half of traumatic brain injury (TBI)-related hospitalizations.
- Death rates have increased 30% over the last decade due to falls with over 42,000 seniors dying annually due to unintentional falls.
- $50 billion is spent annually on medical costs related to non-fatal injuries. $12 billion of which is paid by private insurance or out-of-pocket.
- $754 million is spent annually on medical costs related to fatal falls.
Are You at Risk of a Fall?
We are all at risk of a fall and as we get older our risk increases. Natural changes in our bodies affect the way we feel, move, and behave.
These factors can increase our chances of a fall:
|Decrease in mobility, balance, muscle strength|
Download our self-assessment to determine if you are at risk of a fall.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s Fall Risk
Dementia is a group of conditions that impairs brain function. It can increase the risk of a fall due to:
- Loss of sight and difficulty spotting hazards
- Loss of mobility and balance and an increase in muscle weakness
- Loss of memory and confusion about surroundings and finding their way
- Difficulty in processing what they see, where they are, and reactions to situations
- Difficulty in communicating their feelings, their conditions, their needs, and their fears
- Medications that make them drowsy, dizzy, or lower their blood pressure
Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes memory loss and confusion. A study in the medical journal Age and Ageing found seniors with Alzheimer’s to be three times more likely to suffer from hip fractures. And the leading cause of hip fractures is falling. For Alzheimer’s patients, a broken hip may mean they cannot be adequately cared for in their own home and they are also more likely to die than those without dementia according to the study.
Learn more about dementia and Alzheimer’s here.
Roughly half of all falls happen inside the home. To help keep home safe, the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control – part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – recommends the following measures to reduce the chance of a fall:
- Remove clutter – clothes, shoes, books, and papers – from the walk areas and stairs.
- Remove or tape down throw rugs.
- Remove the need for step stools. Place hard-to-reach and/or frequently used items in lower cabinets, drawers or on countertops.
- Install grab bars in the tub or shower as well as next to the toilet.
- Use non-slip mats inside and outside the tub as well as on shower floors.
- Increase the lighting throughout your home and specifically in stairways.
- Install handrails in your stairways.
It’s also important to:
- Keep the care team informed with how your loved one is feeling. Share the results of our self-assessment and tell them if they have fallen, are having trouble standing, or experiencing any unsteadiness.
- Review all medications with the care team and pharmacists. Let them know if any of them are making your senior dizzy or are causing them to become sleepy.
- Let the care team know if they are feeling depressed or anxious.
- Have their eyes checked annually.
- Get daily exercise focusing on balance and muscle strength.
Senior In-Home Care
With reduced mobility, seniors can withdraw and socialize less often. This can lead to feelings of isolation, loneliness, and frustration. Loneliness and social isolation are a significant health risk in aging adults according to the CDC.
Loneliness is linked to an increased risk of depression, anxiety, dementia, heart disease, stroke, and death. Socializing with others – even with just one other person, like a senior care provider – can boost mood, self-esteem, immune system, and memory function.
Our senior care teams work hard to forge a bond between our caregivers and our clients to prevent feelings of isolation and loneliness. Our aides are very pleased to be a steady part of your loved one’s life and their care team. They take precautions to keep your loved one safe from falls and injury.
Benefits of In-Home Care for Seniors
Falls and fall-related injuries are highly prevalent but are preventable. Health care providers play a crucial role and can help older adults reduce their risk for falls.
Most seniors want to live in their homes where they have built lifelong memories, feel safe in their neighborhood, and know how to get to all their favorite places. When faced with the possibility of moving, many seniors fear the unknown. Allowing seniors to stay in their homes brings peace of mind.
Comfort Home Care works hard to keep our seniors in their homes safely, preserving as much self-sufficiency and independence as possible. Our decades of experience have shown that our seniors thrive when we focus on four areas:
|Cognitive stimulation – As we age it becomes even more important to stimulate the brain in order to reduce the chances of memory loss. The human brain can get stimulation through the same activities we did when we were young – playing card and board games, solving puzzles, reading, and writing.|
|Socialization – The psychosocial aspect of care, which is someone’s interaction in a social environment, is an important aspect of overall health and well-being. It is part of the human experience to engage each other in mutually beneficial social interaction. In-home care keeps seniors engaged and socially interactive.|
|Improvement in physical health – Our in-home caregivers help our seniors stay healthy. They assist with physical activity to help increase their mobility and strength, reduces muscle loss and fall risks. We also help our seniors consume enough calories with the right nutrients to avoid obesity, excessive weight loss, and dehydration.|
|Safety supervision – Keeping our seniors safe is a top priority at Comfort Home Care. Understanding prescription medications, dosages, and necessary precautions can help seniors avoid catastrophic consequences. Fall risks can be reduced by clearing clutter from walkways and stairs, installing non-slip rugs, and mopping up spills. Cleaning the kitchen and refrigerator can prevent illnesses due to cross-contamination or consumption of expired foods.|
Partnering with Comfort Home Care
Comfort Home Care’s philosophy of People-Centered Care puts seniors and their family at the heart of all of our care decisions. Our philosophy recognizes both seniors and their caregivers as partners in developing and planning care to ensure care always satisfies their wants and needs. It is important to us to take into consideration a client’s preferences, wishes, hobbies, and activities they want to continue through in-home care.
The first step to ensuring appropriate in-home care is through an in-home assessment.
- An in-home care evaluation for seniors and their families in and around Montgomery County and Prince George’s County, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. These evaluations are conducted by our Registered Nurses (RNs) to determine the levels of care needed, specific requirements, and individual goals involved in the care plan.
- Following the initial evaluation, our RN will create a customized care plan that encompasses the physical and psychosocial needs of the senior receiving care.
- Using the information from the evaluation and the in-home care plan, we match a care provider with your loved one. The Aide will ensure your senior is happy, safe, and at ease. Our decades of experience have shown us well-placed matches help our clients thrive and develop a positive bond with our compassionate in-home care professionals. We become an extension of the family.
Request a Free In-Home Care Evaluation Today
Comfort Home Care is renowned for providing positive experiences for seniors and caregivers in and around Montgomery County and Prince George’s County, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. If you or a senior loved one would benefit from in-home care support, contact us today to discuss a complimentary needs evaluation.