How to Prevent Falls, Injuries and Weakness in the Elderly: Online Course Module 4

Learning how to prevent falls, injuries and weakness is a key element in helping elderly parents remain in their homes. If your parent is becoming physically weak, this module will help you connect chronic health issues to an increased likelihood of a fall.

How to Prevent Falls Injuries and Weakness in the ElderlyAdditionally, family caregivers will learn how to talk to parents about their health, the importance of using a walker or a cane plus considering the installation of home safety devices in the home.

Simple precautionary measures can be the difference between a parent continuing to live independently at home or having an accident that results in a permanent move to a nursing home or care community.

In this online caregiver program, caregiving expert Pamela D Wilson shares a step-by-step plan to identify and respond to health and safety concerns in elderly parents.

Research articles supporting this module are linked below in the text to make it easy for you to gain the knowledge you need to discuss safety risks and advocate for the care of elderly parents.

Home Safety for Seniors

Module 4 in this online caregiver education program offers sequential step-by-step plans and processes to identify fall risks and complete a home safety assessment in the home of an elderly parent. Family caregivers will also be able to link chronic health problems with falls and be proactive in discussing the risks with parents.

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Learn More About the Other Seven Modules of Pamela’s Online Caregiver Education Program

Module Four: Home Safety for Seniors

Each section below links to the caregiver webinar videos on Pamela’s YouTube Channel.

how to prevent falls, injuries and weakness

By working through this online caregiver education program about nutritional tips to keep parents healthy and active, family caregivers will be able to:

  • Identify home and physical safety risks that result in falls
  • Learn about basic home safety devices and health technology to minimize injuries and falls
  • Discuss health with aging parents including the importance of proper hygiene
  • Reconfirm steps that family caregivers can take today to maintain their health and minimize the likelihood of becoming the person who needs care

Click on the links below in PINK to watch the webinar videos and to view the slides that correspond to each part of the program.

Section 1: Understanding Why Elderly Parents Become Physically Weak

Why are the elderly at risk for falls? Increasing physical frailty and advancing illness can increase the chances of a fall for an elderly parent. Caregivers can learn to identify early concerns that might lead to a fall. Additionally, caregivers can share research about factors that lead to falls with parents to bring attention to the risks of falls that most often lead to parents moving from the family home to a care community.

Additional Resources:

Fried, LP, Tangen CM Walston J et. al. Frailty In Older Adults J. Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2001;56(3): M146-156.

Sallinen J, Stenholm S, Rantanen T, Heliövaara M, Sainio P, Koskinen S. Hand-grip strength cut points to screen older persons at risk for mobility limitationJ Am Geriatr Soc. 2010;58(9):1721-6. doi:10.1111/j.1532-5415.2010.03035.x

Cronkleton, Emily. (Medically reviewed by Daniel Bugnis, MS, NASM-CPT, NASE Level II-CSS fitness specialty) Healthline What is the Average Walking Speed of an Adult?

Whiting, Susan et. al.Hand Grip Strength as a Potential Nutritional Assessment Tool in Long Term Care Homes. Journal of Ageing Research and Healthcare. DOI : 10.14302/issn.2474-7785.jarh-16-1177

Edmonton Frailty Index


Why do people with dementia fall more often? Learn how to notice early signs that parents are having greater difficulty performing everyday tasks. Gaps in executive function skills and ease of walking are often early signs of dementia. Learn about other challenges persons with memory loss face specific to performing physical activities and how family caregivers can provide support.


Being a caregiver can be frustrating when you don’t know how to talk to elderly parents about health. By making health information easy to understand and relevant, family caregivers have a greater success rate in discussing health, well-being, and the importance of physical activity with aging parents.


Section 2: Chronic Diseases and Health Issues That Contribute to Falls

Caregivers wonder—why do elderly parents resist using a walker or can to prevent a fall? Older adults have many reasons, including pride and judgment, for not participating in safe behaviors.

By learning and sharing the long-term effects of falls and other non-fatal injuries, family caregivers can have practical conversations with parents about the risks of making poor decisions or ignoring physical concerns that can result in a serious fall.

Slides_M4 S2 P1

What health conditions make an older person more likely to fall? Learn how to recognize common diseases that increase the likelihood of falls for elderly parents. Plus, caregivers will find tips and factual information to make it easier to discuss the importance of health prevention with parents.

Additional Resources:

Luz, Clare, Ph.D. et. al. Do Canes or Walkers Make a Difference Non-Use and Fall Injuries. Gerontologist, 2017, Vol. 57, No. 2, 211-218. Doi: 10.1093/geront/gm/096

Trekking Poles as an Alternative to Walking Canes

Lifestyle Choices: Root Causes of Chronic Diseases. Online Health Chat with Mladen Golubic, MD. Ph.D. Cleveland Clinic.

Booth, Frank, W. Ph.D. et al. Lack of Exercise is a Major Cause of Chronic Diseases. Compr. Physiol. 2012 April; 2(2): 1143-1211. Doi: 10.1002/cphy.c1100255.

Koyanagi, A M.D. et al. Chronic Physical Conditions. JAGS 66:721-727/2018. DOI:10.1111/jgs.15288.

Iwasaki, S. and Yamasoba, T. Dizziness and Imbalance In The Elderly. Age-Related Decline in the Vestibular System. Aging and Disease. 2014 Feb 9;6(1):38-47. doi: 10.14336/AD.2014.0128. eCollection 2015 Feb

Lin, Frank R., Ph.D. et. al. Hearing Loss and Falls Among Older Adults in the United States. Arch Intern Med. 2012. February 27; 172(4); 369-371. Doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.728

Syncope. The Cleveland Clinic.


Section 3: Senior Home Safety, Assistive Devices and Health Technology

These ten tips to assess and improve home safety for older adults identify ten areas in the home where parents have an increased likelihood of falling and actions family caregivers can take to improve safety. Additionally, family caregivers can learn scenarios that may indicate that it’s time to move an elderly parent to a safer situation or care home.

Additional Resources:

Schnell, S., et al., 1 Year Mortality In a Hip Fracture Program for Elders. Geriatric Orthopaedic Surgery & Rehabilitation, 2010, 1(1) 6-14. DOI: 10.1177/2151458510378105


Learn why the benefits outweigh the costs of safety and health tech devices for elderly parents. Increasing options to support home safety and monitor health are continually being introduced. Family caregivers can learn about basic equipment and technology to help elderly parents remain safe and in their homes.

Additionally, how to talk to parents about purchasing, using, or allowing safety equipment to be installed in the home.


Section 4: Bathing, Skin Care, and Incontinence

Why elderly parents refuse to bathe can be puzzling for family caregivers. Learn how safety concerns, pain, memory loss, and other issues complicate simple hygiene tasks for aging parents. Caregivers can learn options for making bathing or showering more comfortable and safe.

Family caregivers can also learn how to make bathing less embarrassing for parents in addition to gaining awareness of skin and other infections that require medical care and treatment.


Personal hygiene for the elderly is important to preventing skin, foot, dental, and urinary tract infections. Family caregivers can learn how to talk to parents about personal hygiene and the relationship to good health. In addition, establishing toileting schedules and peri-care routines are essential, especially for aging parents with poor mobility or a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.


Section 5: Uncommon Wisdom for Middle-Age Family Caregivers: Why Caregivers Should Take Care of Their Health (24:28)

Family caregivers can recognize concerns that complicate care and result in frail health for elderly parents beginning in middle age. In this webinar, learn the importance of identifying and implementing lifestyle changes to reduce the likelihood of chronic disease so that you can be healthy and active today and in your retirement years.

Aging does not mean being sick. Caregivers can proactively change habits to make needing substantial care from loved ones less of a likelihood in later years.


Additional Resources:

Xy, Dongjuan Ph.D., and Rivera, J.D. Ph.D. Long Term Consequences of Non-Fatal Injuries in the Elderly. Gerontologist, 2018, 2018, Vol 58, No. 4, 759-767. Doi:10.1093/geront/gnw252

Gill, Thomas M., MD. Et. al. Burden of Restricted Activity and Associated Symptoms and Problems in Late Life and the End of Life. J Am Geriatr Coc 66:2282-2288, 2018.

Xiang, Siaoling, PhD., et al. Depression and Unmet Needs for Assistance With Daily Activities Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults. Gerontologist 2018, Vol. 58, No 3, 4428-437.

Montero-Odasso, M. Ph.D. et al. Gait and Cognition. A Complimentary Approach to Understanding Brain Function and the Risk of Falling.

Higueras-Fresnillo, S. et. al. Physical Activity, and Association Between Frailty and All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality in Older Adults: Population-Based Prospective Cohort Study. JAGS 66:2097-2103, 2018. Doi: 10.1111/jgs.15542

Interested in more tips to care for elderly loved ones. Keep moving forward and check out all of the other modules in this caregiving program.

If You Found This Module Helpful, Learn More About the Other 7 Modules 



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