When you have an elderly parent, you're likely highly concerned about him or her falling and sustaining an injury. This may especially be the case if your parent lives alone or has fallen and hurt himself or herself in the past. By joining forces with a home health aide, you can do a lot to "fall proof" the home. For example, you can remove furniture or rugs that could potentially trip your parent, while also adding handles to the bathtub and anti-slip tape to the bottom of the tub. However, it's possible for people to slip and fall for a variety of other reasons, including some that you may not have considered. Here are some other potential risks.
As people age and their eyesight declines, they may not be in a hurry to have cataract surgery for any number of reasons. Poor eyesight, however, can increase your parent's risk of tripping and falling. For example, he or she may not notice an obstacle in his or her path and may trip on it. When out in public, your parent may miss a step in an unfamiliar area. For these reasons, it's important to arrange an eye checkup for your parent to ensure that his or her eyes are as healthy as possible.
If your parent is losing weight, his or her pants may not fit properly. When weight loss occurs, a person's pants can become loose and the cuffs can drag on the floor. It's easy for someone to trip over his or her cuff, especially if the individual is already a little unsteady on his or her feet. If you're noticing this issue, make sure that your parent has a belt. If the belt won't cinch the pants up enough, take your parent shopping to find pants that fit properly.
Reactions To Medication
If your elderly parent takes a selection of medication, it's important to familiarize yourself with how your parent reacts to these products. You may also wish to consult your parent's home health aide, as these professionals are highly experienced with medication and how it affects patients. Some people feel lightheaded upon taking certain medications. If your parent reacts in this manner, make sure that the home aide is always providing physical support when your parent stands up or begins to walk soon after taking the medication, as this support may prevent a fall and an injury.
If you are worried about leaving your parent alone, consider hiring a home healthcare agency to help.