A fear of falling can make the entire situation worse for your elderly family member. The very idea of sustaining a fall can be terrifying for your senior and for you. But it’s what she does about that fear that really matters, because it can make all the difference for her.
She’s Being Too Cautious
Being afraid of a fall very often leads to being more cautious. But when your elderly family member is too cautious, she may actually make more mistakes in terms of her footing and her balance. Being hyperaware of everything around her doesn’t really give her the added benefits she’s looking for in terms of keeping her safe. All it does is make her less stable.
She’s Limiting Her Activities
The other big problem is that your senior may start limiting her activity levels significantly. Being afraid that she’ll fall makes her pay a lot more attention to what she’s doing, even causing her to do a lot less. That’s problematic because your senior loses skills as she limits her activities. Her muscles become a little weaker as time goes on and she may even lose her ability to balance as well as she did before she limited her activity levels. She may be able to regain some of what she’s lost, but it’s tough work.
See What Her Doctor Has to Say
It’s really important to talk to your senior’s doctor about this situation and see what advice is available. Your senior’s fear of falling may be founded in facts, but that doesn’t mean she’s out of options. Her doctor can give her some concrete tools she can use to deal with the fear and to manage the very real effects of what she’s been up against.
Put Together a Fall Prevention Plan
The next step is to create a plan to prevent falls. If your elderly family member is afraid of falling, that’s something you can do something about. Look for ways to reduce fall risk in her home, including clearing clutter and ensuring that her floor is safe for her to walk on. Adding handrails to key areas is also important because it gives your senior support when she needs it. It may also be a good idea to look into hiring elder care providers. They can not only help with maintaining a fall prevention plan, but they can also assist your senior with mobility concerns.
Your senior isn’t wrong to be concerned about falling, but that fear could do more harm than good if she and you allow it to.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care in Rogue River, OR, please contact the caring staff at Southern Oregon In-Home Care today! Proudly Serving Seniors in Josephine & Jackson Counties, Oregon. Call us today! (541) 236-4247