How to Prevent Falls in Older Adults with Dementia

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Falls account for more than half of all reported injuries experienced by Canadian seniors. However, fall-related injuries are often preventable. Statistics indicate that up to 30 percent of seniors fall every year. As dementia starts to impact various cognitive functions, older adults become more susceptible to falls. However, there are many ways family members can reduce fall risk and keep their older loved ones safe.

Ensure Adequate Lighting

The living spaces occupied by seniors with dementia must have plenty of illumination. Indoor and outdoor walkways should be well lit. Nightlights in bedrooms, bathrooms, and other home areas allow for better navigation at night. Consider installing light switches that glow in the dark. Glow-in-the-dark tape strips should also be applied to the front of steps. 

Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia care. Mississauga families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life.

Paint the Home with Contrasting Colors

The colors and hues perceived by older adults with dementia differ compared to unaffected seniors. Thus, floors, walls, and furnishings must be significantly different in color. Floors should be solid in color and not have confusing patterns. However, contrasting colors can be used on stairs to denote each step. Avoid black surfaces, which are often interpreted as holes.

Clear the Pathways

All walking surfaces must be kept clean, dry, and level. Door stops shouldn’t be more than one inch in height. Area or scatter rugs must be removed or firmly secured to the floor. Indoor and outdoor pathways should be free from clutter, and outdoor walkways must be free of ice and snow during winter. Remove or replace damaged carpets or flooring, and make sure electrical cords are secured out of the way. Keep furnishings to a minimum and remove any lightweight items that are easily toppled.

Make the Bathroom Safe

Ensure the bathtub and shower floors have nonslip surfaces. Provide a bath bench or chair to ease entering and exiting the shower or tub. Install safety grab bars in the bathing area and on either side of the toilet, and set the hot water heater to below 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Consider installing a lifeline pull-type cord for emergencies. 

Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Mississauga seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

Invest in Appropriate Footwear

Make sure your loved one’s shoes fit properly and have Velcro closures. Replace the shoes if the soles display excessive wear. Discourage your parent from walking around the home in slippers, socks, or other footwear that don’t provide sufficient traction.

Increase Accessibility to Daily Items

Make sure items stored in the kitchen are at a reachable height, and keep frequently used items in the same location. Label each cupboard with the names of the contained items. Make sure the stairways and hallways have sturdy railings. If your parent is living in a split-level home, consider moving his or her bedroom to the ground floor close to a bathroom. Keep favorite items and lamps close to the bedside.

Dementia can make it difficult for older adults to manage everyday activities. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care Mississauga, Ontario, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at (519) 590-2792 today.