Unexpected Summertime Fall Risks
Elderly Care in Robbinsville NJ
As a family caregiver, you know how important it is to protect your aging parent from falls. Falls are the leading cause of non-fatal and fatal injuries among adults over the age of 64. These falls can result in a wide variety of injuries. If your loved one has to be admitted to the hospital they are at risk of infection, illness, and delirium in addition to the impact of the injuries themselves. Even after receiving the proper treatment your parent could suffer from diminished mobility, loss of range of motion and flexibility, and increased risk of issues such as obesity and cardiovascular disease. Helping your parent to avoid the potentially devastating impact of falls is one of the most important things that you can do as a family caregiver to give your loved one the highest quality of life you can.
While there are some fall risks that remain largely the same throughout the year, including loose floor coverings, stairs, and slippery surfaces, each season brings with it its own challenges and sometimes unexpected risks. Being aware of these is an important part of keeping your loved one safe and healthy throughout each season.
Some unexpected fall risks that you should be aware of during the summertime months include:
- Hoses. If your parent enjoys being outside and taking care of their lawn, it is likely that they use a hose or sprinkler to keep their lawn lush and nourished. If the hose is not properly reeled at the end of the day, however, it could become a serious tripping hazard. Many hoses are green, causing them to blend in with the grass around them. This can make it difficult for a senior, particularly one with low vision, to notice. If they use a sprinkler system with elevated heads they can also trip over or step on these raised pieces, potentially causing a fall.
- Sunscreen. Protecting your parent’s skin is essential during the summer months when the sun’s rays are at their most intense of the year. It is important to protect all of the skin on their body that may be exposed, including their feet if they are wearing sandals or flip flops. When they do this, however, make sure that the product does not get on the bottom of their feet or their shoes as it can create a slippery, unstable situation.
- Glare. You know that having the sun in your eyes is uncomfortable and distracting, but it can also increase fall risk for a senior. Having the bright sun in their eyes can make it difficult for your parent to navigate through a space and can also make them feel off-balance, increasing the chances that they will trip, stumble, or fall.
If you are concerned about your parent’s health and safety as they enjoy the summer months, this may be ideal time to start elderly care. Having an elderly home care services provider in the home with your aging parent can help them to enjoy a greater range of activity and engagement in the world around them while addressing their personal needs and staying safe and healthy. This can give you confidence that your loved one is able to make the most out of their summer months even if you are not able to be with them.