According to new research from the American Alzheimer’s Association, there appears to be a strong link between head trauma and an increased future risk of Alzheimer’s disease.  Head trauma can result from a fall, sports injury or other accident. For seniors, falls are a common cause of head trauma. Caregivers can help seniors maintain their brain health by making the home fall-proof.

Wear non-slip footwear at all times. Seniors should always wear non-skid slippers or shoes throughout the day. At night, socks with non-skid bottoms are important to wear, especially if seniors go to the bathroom at night.

Provide ample night lighting. Going to the bathroom at night can be a fall risk if seniors cannot easily find light switches or have ample night lights near pathways. Caregivers should ensure that night lighting is installed in pathways and is bright enough to ensure safety.

Exercise daily. Exercising is important for maintaining muscle and bone strength.  Additionally, exercise is an important part of maintaining brain health. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, regular exercise is an important preventive measure that increases cardiac and brain health and lowers one’s risk for brain disorders. Caregivers can encourage daily exercise by doing exercise together with seniors every day. Stretches, hand weights, and tai-chi are all strengthening exercises.

Provide one-on-one companionship to seniors with cognitive impairment. Seniors that have a cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer’s or dementia often may be confused, use poor judgment, have decreased comprehension, have impulsive behavior or experience memory deficits.  Caregivers can provide important and helpful support through one-on-one companionship and help seniors maintain safety in the comfort of their home.

If you loved one is at risk for falls at home, a few proactive steps can make a significant difference in overall physical and cognitive health and wellness.