Any tips on developing a "fall protection program"?

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My grandma right now is 85 years old and while still very healthy, has experienced a significant decrease in mobility. Just last week she tripped on the rug and sprained her ankle, luckily it wasn't worse than it was... however she experienced a really bad fall on the concrete a few years ago and with Winter coming I'm afraid she will fall again. With no one able to monitor her, I'm really wanting to start looking into fall prevention. I know there is not technology out on the market that will entirely prevent a fall from happening, but I know there are several ways you can create whats called a "fall protection program".


PERS sounds interesting but not the answer.

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JBrasch, one could elder proof the house, but the key issues is will the elder actually use any of the things provided to help them not to fall? Or remember to use such items.

My Mom [when she was 97] refused to have anything installed in the house or even try to use a walker, even refused Caregivers, thus our hands were tied because Mom was still of clear mind and she thought Dad could help her [Dad was a major fall risk himself].... so what happens, Mom had a variety of falls and last one was very serious. She is now in long-term-care.

If only my parents would have taken my suggestion of downsizing to Assisted Living, the both of them would be under the same roof enjoying their final chapter.
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This is a topic that has been periodically discussed here, and there already are posts and articles addressing prevention. You might start here, skim through the hits, and make a checklist of things to do:
https://www.agingcare.com/search.aspx?searchterm=fall+protection

Some hospitals have community outreach programs with lectures on falls; check with your local hospitals to see if these are offered. A few senior centers also have these kinds of outreach programs, or lectures, periodically.

There are a lot of things that can be done, including adding grab bars, not just in places of high vulnerability but throughout the house, but make sure whoever puts them in anchors them directly into the studs. Mollies aren't safe to use with grab bars.

Eliminate throw rugs and trip hazards. Get a walker or rollator for in-home use. Arrange for family to call regularly to check up on her. Get phone jacks installed in every room, with long phone cords. If she doesn't have one, get an easy to use cell phone in a case that she can clip onto a belt, or carry in a pocket.

Winter is definitely a challenge. Other than medical appointments what else would require that she leave the house? Does she still drive?

Getting Meals on Wheels helps address the food situation.

There are also posts on fall alert protection systems; you can search for those, check them out and make a decision. After some research, I eliminated all but Guardian, which is also an alarm system provider based in Michigan but with offices and services in other areas of the US.

Other factors in falling that are individual are hearing, vision, cognition and Make sure her glasses, if she wears them, are current. Hearing is a different issue because often elders won't wear hearing aids even if they need them. Strength can be addressed through home PT. strength.

Contact her PCP or ortho physician and ask for home care, with PT and OT.
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