Ask the Experts- January 2018

By: Red Hot Mamas

Published: January 10, 2018

Dear Red Hot Mamas,

My 78 year old mother has fallen in her home.  Thankfully, she just sustained a sprain and not a fracture.  I would like to know if you can help me prevent her from falling.  Please lend me your suggestions.  I most appreciate it.

Thank you.


Dear Caroline,

What a wonderful daughter you are to be so concerned with providing measures to help your mother with falling.  Here are some suggestions:

Make an assessment of her home environment.  Increase lighting in the house, if necessary.  And, make sure she has ample light if she has to get up in the middle of the night.  Install a hand rail on each side of the stairs.  Install grab bars along toilet and shower area.  Also, a non-skid mat in shower and tub.   Get rid of throw rugs and carpets that are not taped down tight to the floor.  The stairway and walkway should be well lit and free of clutter.

Ask your mother if she is experiencing dizziness or balance issues.  If she is experiencing any of these, encourage her to discuss this with her clinician and to consider an exercise regimen to help with flexibility, as well as to tone and strengthen her muscles.

In addition, inquire when she had her last eye checkup.  If she is has poor vision, encourage her to see an eye doctor.  If she currently is wearing eyeglasses, make sure the glasses have been adjusted to the current prescription.  And, remember that bifocals sometimes can be problematic while walking up or down stairs so it’s important to address that concern as well.

Discuss medications.  Certain medications may cause balance and dizziness issues.  Encourage your mother to discuss with her clinician and pharmacist whether her falling may be related to a side effect of a medication she is taking.

Thank you for writing to Red Hot Mamas.  We hope some of our suggestions help your mother in staying healthy and independent as long as possible.