Rainy Day Tips for Reducing Fall Risk
Caregiver in Hamilton NJ
Fall risk is one of the greatest challenges that your aging parent faces as they get older. Each year millions of older adults fall, and a large percentage of these suffer severe injuries due to these falls. A fall can result in a variety of complications, including loss of mobility, decreased functionality, risk of delirium and infection, and diminished quality of life. As a family caregiver it is important that you understand this risk and take proper steps to reduce the risk throughout their later years.
One time when your parent might be at particular risk of falling is on rainy days. Rain creates diminished visibility as well as slippery conditions that can make it harder for your parent to avoid a fall. Use these tips to help reduce the risk that your parent will fall on a rainy spring day:
- Choose the right footwear. Having the right shoes is an important part of reducing fall risk all the time, but can be particularly helpful when the weather is rainy. Make sure that your parent’s footwear fits properly, provides adequate support, and has strong grips on the bottom to minimize slipping.
- Move slowly. Encourage your parent to always take their time when they are moving around in the rain. Moving too quickly can cause them to slip or reduce the chances that they are able to catch themselves or correct the movement if they start to slip, increasing the risk of a fall and potentially serious injury.
- Wipe their feet carefully. The risk for falling on a rainy day does not end when your parent goes inside. In fact, flooring such as polished wood, linoleum, tile, and marble can be extremely slick when wet. Encourage your parent to wipe their feet carefully before they step inside to reduce the risk that they will slip. They should remove wet shoes promptly rather than tracking the wetness throughout the rest of the home.
- Supplement light. Even during daylight hours, rain can diminish visibility. Supplement the light in your parent’s home and when they are outside of the home on rainy days to help them see better. This can include adding extra lamps or overhead lights so that they can navigate the home comfortably and confidently, as well as bringing light such as a flashlight with you if you go outside for a walk or to run errands.
If you are concerned about your aging parent’s fall risk or have been looking for a way to improve their safety as they age in place, starting home care for them may be the ideal option. A home care provider can be with your parent to provide physical support and assistance that helps to keep them on their feet and reduce the chances that they will suffer a fall or the potentially devastating consequences associated with them. Home care can also include encouraging a healthy diet and more active lifestyle, both of which can strengthen the body and reduce fall risk.