Getting older can lead to various health problems, which can make everyday tasks not only challenging but dangerous. For example, muscle weakness, brittle bones, bruising, and limited flexibility can lead to accidents within the home.
It is crucial to evaluate the different dangers within the home, so you prevent them from impacting your elderly relative’s health. Read on to learn about four of the biggest health risks for seniors and how to avoid them.
- Trip Hazards
Limited mobility or an inability to spot dangers could potentially cause an aging relative or friend to fall in the home. Take a walk around their home to identify and remove any potential dangers that could pose a risk to their health and safety. For example, remove a large area rug or hallway runner to reduce the likelihood of them falling. You should also request a personal alarm from Helpline, who offer an instant response once a senior has pressed the button in an emergency situation.
- Falling on the Stairs
The stairs are reportedly one of the biggest causes of falling for elderly people who live at home. That is because seniors who are living with a health or mobility issue will likely find it a challenge to walk up and down the stairs, especially if their medications can impair their cognitive or visual function. There are, however, a variety of ways you can increase an elderly person’s safety on the stairs. For example, you can add more lighting and could install a stairlift or handrails to help prevent falls within the home.
- Over the Counter Medications
Older people who are living with early onset dementia commonly take over-the-counter medications to help ease them into sleep each night. Unfortunately, they can contain diphenhydramine, which can reportedly cause an adverse reaction with dementia medications. As a result, it can increase a loved one’s confusion and drowsiness. Sadly, this could lead to a greater risk of falling, injury or wandering. Protect your loved one’s health by talking to their doctor about over-the-counter medications, and removing them from their home, if required.
- Taking the Wrong Medications
A doctor might prescribe a patient with medication they might need to take daily, and at a specific time of day. However, aging or a cognitive condition can cause a senior to forget whether they have taken their medication, which could lead them to taking too much or too little – or they could take the pills at the wrong time or day. Depending on their health condition and the medication, this could cause serious consequences.
It is therefore important to keep all medications in their original containers to avoid confusion. You could also ask a pharmacist to add a large print label to make them easier for your loved one to read. If in doubt, take all the pill bottles to a healthcare provider to review the medication, who can identify if a patient has been taking their pills correctly.