As our parents and grandparents age we all fear that most devastating of events: a fall which causes a broken hip, shoulder, arm, or leg. So often this is the beginning of the transition to a full senior care nursing facility for senior citizens.
Yet again, an ounce of prevention...
In the past two articles, we discussed ways to help senior citizens avoid falls by caring for their bodies and their homes. Today we will review ways to prevent falls when away from your home. Various safety measures for senior citizens away from home include:
Carry as few items as you really need. You are probably going to be carrying groceries or that new blouse or shirt when you are out shopping. On top of that you may alrady be carrying keys... and a handbag... and a coat or sweater. Too many things to keep track of can be a distraction and can cause falls.
Use the loaner motorized wheelchairs at grocery stores and malls. These are there for the public's use, why not take advantage? You will be safer in the store, and you will be more rested when you return home.
Carry a small LED flashlight in your coat pocket or purse. In unfamiliar surroundings, especially at or after dusk or in inclement weather, you won't be able to know the lumps and bumps in your path. This flashlight can guide the way!
Ask for help for the items on the top shelf! Any store wants you to have a pleasant and safe shopping experience. If you need items placed up high, a store employee should be happy to help!
As we wrap up our three part series on fall prevention and safety for senior citizens, remember... it is much easier to prevent falls than to recover from them. The minutes you spend being safe can save you days, weeks, or months of care and rehabilitation!
We wish you safety and safe travels... both inside and outside of your home!
For a very handy checklist on senior care fall prevention from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), click here.