Seniors with dementia undergo many changes throughout their diagnosis, and changes in their physical abilities are one of them. When seniors’ dementia symptoms continue to escalate, they become more prone to falls that lead to injuries and may require a visit to the emergency department.
Some of the most common causes of falls in seniors with dementia are lack of physical exercise, memory impairment, physical weakness, poor judgement, and clutter. If your loved one with dementia falls frequently, it’s time to re-evaluate their living situation and look for ways to prevent falls. Consider taking the following steps to prevent dementia-related injuries in seniors.
Create Clear Walking Paths
A senior with dementia may find it difficult to recognize potential hazards in their home. This can lead to them tripping on a loose rug and dangling electrical wires or hitting their legs on the corner of a table. Remove any tripping hazards and create clear walking pathways to prevent falls.
Creating a clear path also involves removing clutter that may distract your loved one and lead to injuries. The key to a safe space is a clean home that limits the possibility of injuries and accidents. Consider rearranging the home and putting away unused items. Keeping the clutter to a minimum and clearing out all walking paths will ensure that your loved one does not fall or get hurt in any corner of their home.
Arrange for Sufficient Lighting
Some forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, can damage the visual-perception and change how seniors view their surroundings. Studies have found that a variety of visual problems that been reported in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and visual activity. Some common problems include changes in color vision, pupillary response, and disturbances in the reading and identification of objects. The inability to observe surroundings due to obstructed vision can lead to falls and injuries.
Arranging for sufficient lighting sources at home and outdoor areas, such as the front porch and backyard, can help seniors with compromised vision walk around without risk of injuries. Consider adding lighting sources to each room and keeping them on most of the time to ensure that your loved one can always see clearly.
Consider Professional Support
If a senior with dementia spends most of their time alone, it can be challenging for caregivers to offer support in case their loved ones fall. Although you can take multiple measures to prevent falls, there is no guarantee it won’t happen. Some falls can significantly harm your loved one, especially if no one is around to help them.
Consider professional support to ensure your loved one gets specialized care, reducing the risk of falls and injuries. Look for dementia care homes equipped with safety technologies that help your loved one live in a safe environment. A care home with specialized staff may also be available around the clock to help your loved one if a fall happens. A reputable home staffed with registered nurses can also reduce the risk of injuries by immediately checking on seniors after a fall and identifying any potential damage to their bodies.
Many seniors with dementia often fall and suffer from injuries. Taking proper steps to prevent dementia-related injuries can give you peace of mind knowing that your loved one is safe and healthy.