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Posts Tagged “Preventing Falls”

Balancing Act: Lifestyle Changes that Can Improve Balance & Prevent Falls

Scottsdale home care

Improve balance and prevent falls with these tips from our Scottsdale home care experts.

From adulthood onward, all of life can seem like a balancing act. We balance work, family, friends, community, etc. But then there comes a time later in life when, for the sake of our safety and independence, we have to consider our actual balance. As we age, our bodies naturally change, and there are many things that can affect a senior’s balance, including:

  • Low vision
  • Poor muscle tone
  • Medications
  • And more

Luckily, there are several simple, common-sense lifestyle changes that can help seniors improve balance and prevent falls.

Exercise

Exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, and research shows that following a regular exercise routine can help older adults build muscle tone that can improve balance and reduce the risk of falling. Consider working the following types of exercise into your daily routine:

  • Tai chi
  • Yoga
  • Dance
  • Water aerobics
  • Strength and resistance training

Adjust your diet

Generally, eating a well-balanced diet and avoiding alcohol in excess is key for a healthy lifestyle. However, some seniors may need to make adjustments to their diets in order to get the nutrition needed to improve balance. For example, seniors who have low levels of vitamin D are at an increased risk of having balance problems, falling down, and breaking bones.

Additionally, if the senior has a condition like Meniere’s disease that affects the inner ear, his or her doctor may suggest dietary changes such as:

  • Avoiding caffeine as caffeine may make symptoms like tinnitus worse
  • Eating six small meals daily rather than three large ones
  • Reducing daily salt intake to less than 1,500 mg, to reduce fluid retention
  • Avoiding monosodium glutamate (MSG), as it may cause fluid retention

Use corrective devices as needed

Often, poor balance is caused by physical changes in the body, such as reduced vision, hearing or mobility. Hearing aids and prescription eyeglasses can help reduce symptoms of dizziness and disequilibrium, and seniors should get treatment for cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration if needed.

Also, walking aids, such as canes, walkers, and wheelchairs, can help seniors live safely and independently when they are properly used.

If a dizzy spell occurs…

It may not always be possible to prevent a dizzy spell, even if you take all the precautions listed above. In order to prevent loss of balance when feeling dizzy, follow these steps:

  • Sit or lie down as soon as you feel dizzy
  • Move slowly and try not to change the position of your head
  • Rest as much as you can and don’t try to go back to your regular activities before you are ready
  • Don’t smoke
  • Avoid exposure to things that may cause sinus congestion
  • Try to manage your stress and anxiety levels

At Nightingale Homecare, we strive to help seniors stay safe, happy, and healthy in the comfort of home by offering a full range of Scottsdale home care services that can allow them to live the lives they want. To help ensure the home is a safe place, we are always happy to provide a home safety assessment and make recommendations on how to reduce the risk of falls in the home. Additionally, our Paces Fall Prevention Program incorporates the expertise of our professional therapists, dieticians, social workers, home health aides and others to provide a well-rounded fall prevention plan that can be implemented to enhance safety even further.

Contact our Scottsdale home care team today to learn more about how we can help seniors prevent falls in the home.

Posted in Blog, Senior Health, Senior Safety on December 5th, 2018 · Comments Off on Balancing Act: Lifestyle Changes that Can Improve Balance & Prevent Falls

Are Your Loved Ones at Risk for Senior Falls? Nightingale Homecare Can Help!

Senior FallsAsk your elderly loved ones what their greatest fears are, and you’re likely to hear one common theme throughout: the fear of falling. So many seniors have witnessed friends and acquaintances suffer the consequences of a fall, and understand just how devastating to health and independence a fall can be. Senior falls often result in hip fracture, head trauma, lacerations and other serious injury leading to loss of function and independence. Falls in the elderly can also result in death, and are a leading cause of injury and death in those over age 65. Although falls among the elderly can and do happen frequently, most falls are preventable.

It’s estimated that one in three adults age 65 and over will experience senior falls each year. Of those who fall, as many as 20-30% will suffer injuries that make it hard for them to get around and live independently. When we think of falls, our minds often go to tripping hazards in the home or just a loss of balance, and although these can be contributing factors, there are multiple reasons why the elderly suffer falls.

The following are common reasons that seniors find themselves victims of dangerous falls:

  • Cognitive Issues: Changes in mental abilities, such as occur with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, can affect balance, increase wandering and impair judgment.
  • Coordination Difficulties: As we age, coordination, reflexes and agility are diminished.
  • Muscular Weakness: Without regular exercise, muscles weaken and reduce a person’s ability to balance and stay steady. Muscle weakness can be related to a chronic illness or a short-term illness.
  • Environmental Hazards: Over one-third of injuries from falls are due to hazards in the home, such as poor lighting, slippery rugs or unsteady furniture.
  • Medications: When a person takes medications, side effects, such as a reduction in alertness, balance or blood pressure can occur. Seniors often are on multiple medications with many different side effects, which increases their risk of falling.
  • Sensory Deficits: Conditions such as impaired vision from cataracts and glaucoma affect depth perception, peripheral vision, visual acuteness and glare.

While senior falls are a threat to the health and independence of older adults and can significantly limit their ability to remain self-sufficient, the opportunity to reduce falls among older adults has never been better. At Nightingale Homecare of Phoenix, each of our patients is screened for fall risk at the time of admission to care. Our professional clinicians work together through our Paces fall prevention program to develop a customized fall reduction plan that addresses all of the unique factors that contribute to that client’s risk.

Want to help reduce fall risk for your older loved ones? Contact the aging care experts at Nightingale Homecare at (602) 504-1555 and arrange for a free in-home consultation to learn more.

Posted in Aging Issues, Blog, Senior Safety on May 24th, 2017 · Comments Off on Are Your Loved Ones at Risk for Senior Falls? Nightingale Homecare Can Help!