Fall Prevention Strategies for Seniors with Dementia

Falls can result in significant accidents and injuries for older adults. A senior with dementia will be at even higher risk because of impaired judgment, memory, and perception as the condition worsens. Here are some tips to help an elderly loved one with dementia prevent falls without restricting their movement at home.

Install Proper Lighting

Dementia can change the structure of the brain, which can damage peripheral vision and lead to other eye problems. As a result, your loved one is still at risk for falling, even if they have healthy eyes. Installing proper lighting throughout the home could lower the odds of slips and falls, making it safer to navigate from room to room.

Seniors with dementia may not notice loose carpet edges, small steps, and changes in elevation because of poor lighting. Make sure your loved one’s room is well lit and easy to adjust to, especially when transitioning from sunlight to indoor lighting. Discuss the various lighting options with your loved one’s doctor to determine the most suitable ones for the home. This includes overhead lighting, task lighting, and ambient lighting.

Caring for senior loved ones with dementia can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in dementia care, but with caregiver coaching from the Certified Dementia Practitioners at Companioa by Institute on Aging (IOA), they can learn to navigate the evolving journey of their loved ones’ dementia with expert guidance and emotional support. Families can benefit from home safety assessments, customized action plans, biweekly check-ins, and caregiver support groups.

Keep Them Active

Being physically active can boost memory, thinking abilities, strength, balance, flexibility, and coordination, preventing accidents like slips and falls. Walking, cycling, and dancing are excellent exercises for a loved one with dementia. The stage of the condition will determine how your loved one needs to alter the activity to ensure their safety isn’t in jeopardy.

Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. At Companioa by IOA, our Concierge Client Care service includes high-quality, compassionate care management for dementia. Our licensed Care Managers advocate for families, offering personalized care planning, medical coordination, lifestyle assistance, and enhanced family communication. With our expert guidance, families are able to navigate healthcare complexities and access the best resources for their loved ones’ wellbeing.

Lower Noise Levels

The sounds from the television, radio, or family and friends in other rooms could harm your loved one with dementia because of increased sensitivity to noise. Loud or excessive noise could make your loved one feel nervous and anxious, worsening their cognitive impairment and making it difficult to maintain balance.

Keeping ear protection nearby is a smart move for situations or environments where your loved one may be exposed to loud noises. An example is earplugs, which can reduce noise significantly.

Clear Pathways & Use Assistive Devices

Clutter can make seniors more susceptible to falls. Therefore, the pathways in the home should always be clear of clothing, electronics, furniture, loose rugs, cords, or other tripping hazards. The ground should also be as even as possible for fall prevention.

Your loved one should also have access to assistive devices, such as handrails on both sides of the stairwells. The bathroom should have a raised toilet seat or a toilet with armrests and grab bars as well as a sturdy seat inside the shower.

In the bedrooms and other areas, place necessities nearby, reducing your loved one’s need to get up to look for objects such as remote controls, phones, and food or beverages. Preventing your loved one from overthinking and becoming anxious about not remembering where an item was placed can prevent balance issues that cause falls. 

Elderly people with dementia are more likely to fall and injure themselves. If you follow the steps above, you can help your loved one avoid hurting themselves by falling. Families who are caring for aging loved ones with dementia can get the personalized support they need with Concierge Client Care from Companioa by IOA. Our three distinct service offerings—Personal Concierge, Caregiver Coaching, and Care Management—ensure the highest level of compassionate professional concierge senior care that’s tailored to each client’s unique needs. We can be your trusted partner, providing the expertise and attention to detail that will help you navigate the complexities of dementia care. Call one of our Connect Specialists today at (415) 750-4111 to learn more.

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