Falls in the home are one of the leading causes of injury in older adults, with one in four Americans age 65 and older experiencing a painful fall each year.

Women are especially susceptible to falling. According to The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, senior women are 50% more likely than men of the same age to trip or stumble when multitasking.

This Mother’s Day, consider going beyond the typical presents of flowers and chocolates to give your mom the ultimate gift: the tools and support she needs to navigate her home with confidence and ease and safely age in place.

The Painful Consequences of Falling at Home

In Florida, there are nearly twice as many women age 60 and older who live alone, compared to men of the same age. This puts them more at risk of not receiving immediate help should they fall in their home.

Even with immediate assistance, the consequences of a fall can be serious.

  • One out of five falls results in a critical injury, including head trauma or broken bones.
  • More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falls.
  • Most traumatic brain injuries are the result of a fall. These can be very serious, especially if your mom is taking medications like blood thinners.

If a fall doesn’t result in a serious injury, your mom may develop a fear of falling after taking a painful tumble. This fear may lead her to become less active, resulting in muscle weakness that can increase her risk of falling in the future.

Protecting Mom From Falls at Home

There are three steps you can take today to help your mom feel safer and more confident in her Florida home.

  1. Make an appointment with her doctor. Less than half of the millions of older Americans who experience a fall each year tell their doctor. If you worry that your mom’s sense of stability or balance has decreased, have an honest conversation with her healthcare provider. He or she may be able to prevent future falls by evaluating the prescriptions and over-the-counter supplements your mom is taking and, if needed, running blood tests and other diagnostics. It’s also important that older adults get their eyes checked at least once a year.
  2. Suggest an exercise outing. Tai chi is a gentle, low-impact way to strengthen the muscles in the legs, which can help improve balance. These classes are offered in many Florida gyms, community centers and YMCAs. If you’re local, consider tagging along. It’s a great way to spend quality time together while reducing stress and improving your stability.
  3. Fall-proof her home. Make Mom’s home safer by installing grab bars and railings in spots like the bathtub and stairway. Offer to rearrange furniture or move items that can easily be tripped over, and help Mom pick out new, brighter light bulbs to use in dim rooms and spaces. Experts also recommend removing throw rugs that can cause Mom to trip and fall.

If Mom is still experiencing falls at home, it may be time to consider professional caregivers to help you both feel more confident and secure. Falling is one of the telltale signs that your mom may need the robust care offered by a Florida assisted living community to continue maintaining her independence and quality of life.

When it’s time for that conversation, rest assured that there are more options for assisted living in Florida than ever before. You and your mom have a choice in how she will receive the care and support she needs.

For more information on Sonata’s senior living communities, call a community near you today to schedule a visit →

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