Older adults are at a greater risk for falls, which can lead to some serious health complications. According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. Falls threaten seniors’ safety and independence and can generate enormous economic and personal costs.
You may assume that the more active you are as a senior, the greater risk you have of falling. But the opposite is true. When seniors stay active, they can expect a greater quality of health. In fact, physical activity can help you build strength, balance, and coordination – all of which can reduce your risk of falling.
At Copeland Oaks, we encourage an active retirement. That’s why we offer so many activities and events that promote physical fitness – from group exercise to recreational sports to individual fitness opportunities, and more. Residents can take advantage of our Wellness Center, Aquatic Center, and Fitness Room – where you’ll find exercise classes that are as fun as they are beneficial.
Gardening is an excellent way to get out of the house, enjoy the sunshine, and watch plants and flowers grow. Whether a senior tends their own garden or has indoor pots by a window, gardening is a great activity. Walking and hiking through the neighborhood or public park is a great sensory activity for dementia patients – allowing them to get some light exercise into their daily routine. Copeland Oaks offers a number of walking paths on campus and local hiking trails.
Move Often Used Items
It’s important to review the different areas of your home to reduce fall risk. Falls can happen in the most unlikely of spaces, so be sure to take a close look at your home to keep it clear of clutter and to assess what changes may be necessary. Even if you have a professional service come in and install safety devices like grab bars, it’s a good idea to make sure every area of your home has been adapted for your safety.
If you happen to notice that you’re always using certain dishes, kitchen tools or linens, don’t have them stored away on the highest shelf, be sure to keep them somewhere where they are easily accessible. Stairs can be incredibly dangerous when it comes to falls, which is why it’s important to always keep them clear of objects. When walking up or down the stairs make sure to use railings on both sides if available. If you must carry an object up the stairs, make sure your view of the stairs is not obstructed and you’re firmly grasping the railing with your free hand. Placing nightlights and light switches close to your bed will illuminate your path and reduce the amount of walking done in the dark – helping reduce the risk of falls.
Tools to Help Fall Prevention
Non-Slip Socks & Non-Skid Shoes
When shoe shopping, it’s important to select shoes with soles that offer a non-skid tread. And for around the house, choose slippers and footies with a non-slip tread.
Canes & Walkers
A cane or walker can offer added support for unsteady seniors. If you experience pain or weakness on one side of your body that makes it hard to walk or balance, a cane may be helpful. If you have poor balance or feel unsteady on your feet, a walker may give you more support.
Grab bars are a smart, supportive tool wherever you may need extra help navigating through your house – like stairways and bathrooms. And textured grab bars add an extra measure of support, helping you secure a better grip.
Bathrooms can be an especially treacherous area, given the amount of water involved and the likelihood of slippery wet surfaces. That’s why it’s a good idea to have grab bars installed near toilets and in bathtubs to help prevent a serious fall. And non-skid mats should be placed in areas that could be wet – including the area beside tubs and in front of sinks.
Assisted Living at Copeland Oaks
Most seniors want to remain independent for as long as possible. Assisted Living at Copeland Oaks can help you stay as active as you care to be, and healthier as you age. It’s a great option for seniors who may not be able to safely live alone in their homes. In addition, assisted living provides seniors the peace of mind and security knowing professional care is there when needed. You will find many conveniences, opportunities to get involved with activities, social events and hobbies. It’s the ideal way to assure you receive the care you need while still being able to take full advantage of community living.
It’s not uncommon for seniors to move into an assisted living community after they experience a hospitalization or illness. However, it’s wise to move before an incident occurs – to help ensure access to the assistance and care you’ll need to maintain an active, healthy and safe lifestyle. At Copeland Oaks, you’ll find greater access to health care programs, nurses, physical therapists, social workers, and other service providers to accommodate your needs. That’s why many residents agree that Assisted Living at Copeland Oaks offers a greater overall quality of life.