Aging and balance don’t often pair well. There are several reasons why balance becomes problematic. Aging can change your vision, muscles weaken, and medications may cause you to feel lightheaded. Some diseases and conditions also impair an aging adult’s balance skills. If your dad is having problems keeping his balance, there are things you can do to help him stay safe.
Talk to His Doctor.
Talk to your dad’s doctor to have medical reasons ruled out. An ear infection, changes to his vision, low blood sugar levels, or a condition like vertigo can be enough to make balance difficult. If the doctor finds that is the case, medications or a new pair of glasses can help. If it’s medications and not a medical issue, a prescription change may be necessary.
Invest in a Cane.
To prevent instability when walking around the house, yard, or store, a cane offers support. Your dad may not be thrilled having to use a cane, but it’s a great way to prevent a fall. With many models available, your dad can pick a cane that makes him feel fashionable, is easily stored when not in use, or that has a hidden compartment for his favorite candies.
Improve Home Safety.
To prevent falls inside and outside the home, put in hand rails on stairs, along the wall in long hallways, and inside and outside a shower or tub. Check that there are no uneven decking materials or patio tiles. Look for clutter and loose carpeting in areas where your dad regularly walks.
Hire a Caregiver.
When does your dad lose his balance? Is he unsteady after getting out of bed? Is it most common after he takes his medications? Does it happen at the end of the day when he’s tired from hours of activity? Keep a journal of when he seems to have the most difficulty.
Once you have an idea of when he has the most difficulty, arrange to have a caregiver available during those hours. If it’s getting out of bed, have a caregiver around to help him get out of bed and into the bathroom safely. If it’s after medications, hire a home care professional to be there for medication reminders and to prepare breakfast and lunch. If it’s in the late afternoon, a caregiver can cook dinner and stay with your dad until you’re home from work.
Learn more about the benefits of caregivers. Call a home care agency to discuss the cost, services, and best scheduling for your dad’s needs.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Stockton, CA, contact the caring staff at Provident Home Care. Call today (877) 572-3411.
Robin Conley RN., Owner and CEO of Provident Care Home Care Providing HOME CARE- ASSISTED LIVING PLACEMENT ASSISTANCE
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