Or a stumble.
When you are older, a fall can literally change your life.
In fact, falls are the leading cause of accidental death in people over age 65 (so while you are worrying about how to pry the car keys away from Mom, give some thought to talking her out of her high heels, too).
Older people are both more prone to falls and more vulnerable to their effects. Why? Changes in vision and hearing, reflexes and coordination. In addition, diseases complicate matters: hypotension can cause dizziness; Parkinson's Disease can affect coordination; Alzheimer's Disease impairs judgement. And medications can cause any of those issues.
Then when a fall occurs, older, more porous bones simply snap.
So what's a caregiver to do? You can swaddle your parents in packing blankets—or take more practical steps to help them stay well-balanced and not tempt fate. We've discussed some ways to improve their balance as well as offered practical tips for things you can do to make their home safer. Now, we offer a free brochure with good background information and more practical tips.
Met Life's Mature Markets Institute, in partnership with the National Alliance for Caregiving, have published this handy booklet entitled, The Essentials: Falls and Fall Prevention. We recommend that you download and read yourself.
Written in a friendly, Q & A format, this handy brochure details the most common causes of falls, as well as how to evaluate the risk of a fall and basic fall prevention techniques. It concludes with three pages of resources., organizations that can help keep your parents on their feet.
This post is part three in a series on Fall Prevention. Be sure to also read: Preventing a Fall (Part 1) with 6 simple ways to make an environment safer and Preventing a Fall (Part 2) which offers tips to help balance. Also visit our Facebook Page and download our Fall Prevention checklist, found under "Reports."