A fear of falling is something that inhibits an older person’s peace of mind each day. “A study from Boston University estimates that the fear of falling impacts 26 to 55 percent of older adults,” reveals Philips.com, “Because the fear of falling is such a significant factor in older adults’ fall risk, addressing it directly with both the senior and his caretakers offer the best opportunity for preventing or reducing falls.”
So what can be done to help seniors overcome their fear of falling? Here are three ideas:
1. Have a Heart to Heart.
It’s important we stress the need to support and understand an elderly person who suffers from a fear of falling. Before you take any measures to make physical changes to either your elderly loved one or his/her living environment, it’s wise to get a strong grasp of exactly what he/she is most fearful of. Where do the fears come from? How bad is the fear? Was there a specific circumstance that precipitated the fear? Talk this out to learn the facts.
“If your loved one has avoided activities out of fear of falling, validate their frustration and sadness,” advises HealthWorks Collective, “The loss of mobility is a major life change many in good health overlook. With an empathetic tone, ask what your loved one’s specific concerns are. There may be one particular area of the home or community they particularly fear. Help them understand the risks and find alternate solutions to reclaim enjoyable experiences.”
2. Toss Those Throw Rugs Out!
This is a very important tip that we’ve offered up numerous times before. It’s only right to repeat it. Far too often, people decorate their homes with exquisitely-designed throw rugs. They may make for a pleasant décor, but the truth is that throw rugs are major tripping hazards. Getting them out of the house and informing the senior in your home that there is nothing to trip over may help to quell his/her fear of tumbling over something.
“This may be a tough one for caretakers of a senior who takes pride in how she’s decorated her home,” admits Phillips.com, “When the rugs have been a part of the décor for many years, it can take some savvy negotiating to help the senior understand that the increased safety removing the rug provides is well worth the change in aesthetics.”
3. Take Bathing out of the Bathroom.
Quite obviously, your elderly loved one will need to visit the bathroom a number of times each day. But that number can be significantly lowered by taking the entire process of bathing out of the bathroom. The bathroom is notorious for its slippery surfaces. Slips and falls in the bathroom happen all the time – and not just to seniors!
With Forward Day’s Shower Bay portable shower, you can ensure that your elderly loved one won’t slip and fall in the shower ever again. It can be snapped together in any room of the home where there is a faucet nearby. Its user can simply roll his/her shower wheelchair into the shower and close the door behind him/her to take a shower with running water. Staying seated the entire time, the senior can relieve himself/herself of the fear of falling.