It’s a common accident for people of the older generation. Falling down and injuring their legs, hips and other joints are the common causes of pain that elderly people face after a fall or trip. It has been my experience that a fall can be either the cause or the result of other ailments so they should be paid careful attention. The body just isn’t what it used to be and so we find it difficult to properly break our fall. The home should be designed to help the elderly and avoid injuries like this. However that costs money, so you don’t normally see a lot of homes that have protective interiors and design features like two guard rails for the staircase instead of only one. It’s not just the home either where falls can happen, but just in normal everyday life. Losing your footing and balance is not that uncommon for people in their late age. So what do you do or what can you do for your grandparents that happen to have a fall where they really hurt themselves? Quite a few things actually, but not all of them will be conventional.
Footwear plays a big role in our daily lives yet we don’t really give it much thought. If it fits and it’s comfortable, what the heck you’ll wear it. However we need to think about grip and design. What’s happening in the shoe market is quite a good sign for those in their twilight years. Trainer brands are making great strides in designs to accommodate feet that have weaker joints, need more support on the face of the foot and give better ankle support as well. The Saucony Echelon 7 for example, is a trainer that has been made with mesh uppers to allow the foot to breathe and keep foot temperature at optimal range. There’s also a built-in shock-liner which means the shoe has been designed from the ground up to be more impact absorbing. This quite clearly means your joints won’t feel as much pressure as in other shoes. The high plush tongue and collar mean that the ankle and ligaments are given increased support and compression to aid in stability. Call me old but all of this sounds good.
Changing footwear is one of the best things you can do as you age and your body changes. It helps to have shoes that stabilize your joints, absorb the impact shock of your body weight as you step and have designs that accommodate people who cannot bend their foot so easily as before.
Steady As She Goes
Grandparents know their bodies are not the same as they were when they were in their 20s, so they will move at their own pace, Sometimes rushing elderly people will make them more prone to injury. Falling down and hurting yourself can occur when they are trying to move too quickly as their mind to body connection is a lot foggier than it once was. Therefore getting one of the best walkers for seniors you can buy, will allow them to feel more stable and move around while keeping their balance. There are many different types of walker which you can buy and they each have their own unique selling point.
For example the triangle or 3-wheeled walker are lighter and easier to turn than their 4-wheeled variant. This is good for someone that is tall as changing direction quickly can make them off balance. There is also a scooter type which you can sit on, with your knee and push forward. The electric motor will start all four wheels and forward motion will commence only when the user pushes the bars forward. The use is a little different but the system relies on pushing so you have more control over the speed in which you travel. There are plenty of different stand up walkers to choose from which are able to be used in the home and in other confined quarters.
Reimagining The Interior Design
Changing the decor of the home will make things easier. Rather than not having some kind of non-slip bath mat it’s better to have one that will give your feet more grip. This will mean getting rid of the cotton or wool bath mat and buying a rubber mat. Rubber will stay in place and not slip on the ground. The thing about woolen mats is, that although they absorb more water to keep the layer underneath your feet dry, the water seeps into the wool and pools on the ground beneath. Thus when you step on the mat from an awkward angle, the mat slips and you go down with it. A rubber mat will stay in place as it’s not penetrable by water. This means that water will stay on the surface of the mat but you get more grip either way.
Other things like putting up handrails all over the house will help to give your grandparents something to reach out and grab when they feel unstable. Fixing handrails in the bathroom is the first priority. Erecting another handrail for the stairs is also a great idea. Handrails at any place where there are steps will give your grandparents something to hold onto and stop their body weight from going back down the steps.
Take Seasonal Precautions
As it gets colder ice build up on the steps outside the home at the entrance will become a normal sight. Taking seasonal precautions is something that should become routine when the time comes every year. Instead of taking your chances, grandparents should be told to remember they should pour hot water over the ice and allow it to melt properly. Brushing away the water on the steps prevents further ice from building up from the hot water. If it’s raining outside, then having a proper gutter system so water doesn’t pool near the steps and entrance to the house is essential.
As people get older they need to remember their footwear is a number one cause of many slips and falls. Wearing trainers that give your ankle support and allow for more shock absorbing, will prevent their weaker joints from giving way and hurting themselves. Combine that with also, using walkers to help with their balance while walking around will help them stay upright and move around at their own pace. Safer for them and a little peace of mind for you.
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