According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in three adults 65 and older fall every year and seniors go to the hospital five times more for fall-related injuries than any other causes.
People living with dementia experience additional issues that may increase their risk for a fall; older adults with dementia are more likely to experience a fall by up to 60 percent. Those with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia may have impaired judgment, a decline in sensory perception over time and an inability to tell others what they need.
Families and people living with dementia can trust caregivers who know this about the condition and take steps to ensure safety. To help people providing dementia care to a loved one, Homewatch CareGivers assembled a specialized list of tips designed to help limit fall risks:
1. Make sure there is enough lighting in the home and make use of visual cues. Because dementia can damage a person’s the visual system, some people may experience illusions and misperceptions. By putting enough light in the room, it decreases the number of shadows and dark areas, which can cause a person living with dementia to misinterpret what they see. Additionally, those More >
When a loved one becomes sick or develops a chronic condition, family members often have to talk with multiple doctors and specialists, such as cardiologists, neurologist or physical therapists.
They must continually make decisions about their loved one’s care, such as whether or not to go through with a treatment, when to schedule a procedure, or what steps they should take to make sure they’re safe while at home. And they need to keep track of all the developments, such as making sure the medicine prescribed by the cardiologist does not conflict with what the neurologist recommends.
Home care agencies aim to help with this difficult process by providing comprehensive and coordinated care, helping families navigate the often confusing and exhausting maze the health care system can be. Many home care agencies have a team who takes on this role, directly working with each family to manage the care, helping family members understand what steps they should take next.
“It relieves the stress on the family and it can make overall care more effective because you have someone who is in there, by the family’s side, who has experience and can take care of things before they balloon out of proportion,” said More >
Deb’s father, Dr. Jones, was a prominent doctor in the Phoenix area. He is older now and lives alone, so Deb wants him to have a round-the-clock caregiver to make sure he is safe. When Bob Koch heard about Deb’s concerns, he immediately wanted to help. Bob recommended the services of Homewatch CareGivers, but he was too late.
Deb decided to go with a private caregiver, not affiliated with a home care agency. The caregiver was helping Deb’s father in his home when she slipped, fell and fractured her hip. Because the caregiver was on the job at the time of the accident, she sent Deb the hospital bills. Furthermore, Deb must keep paying the caregiver’s salary while she is unable to work due to the injury. And during the emergency, Dr. Jones was left without the immediate help of his caregiver.
“They’re still paying for this person to be off work,” said Bob, who is the Area Vice President of Operations for the Mountain West for Gentiva Home Health Services. “The caregiver didn’t do anything wrong. The poor person just fell. But the reality is that Deb has to pay for this caregiver’s hospital bills and salary because she didn’t More >