Over 3 million older adults are treated for injuries sustained in falls, and 800,000 of those people have to be hospitalized. A fall can be devastating and take months to recover from. Your mom fell, and it’s time to focus on what’s needed to help her regain her mobility. Physical therapy services can assist in her recovery.
Consider Fear and Anxiety
After a fall, it’s normal for your mom to become fearful of situations that led to the fall. If she was walking downstairs to get an item from the chest freezer, she may hesitate to use the freezer and that staircase again. If it’s possible to move the freezer to a main level, it helps her.
She fell stepping out of the shower. Adding grab bars and non-slip bath mats helps offer her support and traction. If the lighting was dim and she couldn’t see where there were puddles or that there were still suds on her feet, add extra lighting fixtures.
Improve Safety in Her Home
Go through her home and look for some of the main reasons older people fall. Inadequate lighting on the stairs and in entryways is one area to address. You can switch to bright LED bulbs and fixtures or add battery-powered LED puck lights to illuminate dimly lit rooms.
Look over her flooring to make sure there are no warped boards, cracked (loose) tiles, or torn carpeting. Torn carpeting is notorious for curling up on the edge and creating a hazard that can cause your mom to trip.
Make sure that any electrical cords are out of the way. If your mom uses a floor fan, the cord should be tucked against the wall. If her fan is in the middle of the room, consider switching to a rechargeable model. Otherwise, use painter’s tape or cord covers to keep the cord from tripping your mom.
Get Daily Exercise and Eat a Healthy Diet
To improve your mom’s balance and help prevent falls, make sure she exercises each day. A half-hour walk at a brisk pace is a great idea. If she’s hesitant to go when she’s alone, make sure she has someone to talk with. A family member or a physical therapy aide can accompany her on walks.
In addition to walking, Yoga and Tai Chi help with balance skills. They also use meditative breathing styles that help ease stress and tension. Your mom should also work on strength training and enjoy other exercises like swimming and riding a bike.
If your mom’s diet is lacking protein, calcium, and vitamin D, it can impact muscle and bone strength. A healthy diet ensures she’s eating the right foods to improve bone density and help muscles heal and recover.
Schedule Physical Therapy Sessions
Physical therapy is essential for rebuilding muscle strength, balance, and flexibility. Your mom’s health and safety are important, so book physical therapy sessions to ensure she doesn’t fall again.