The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that one in three adults age 65 and older take a fall each year. Falls are the most common cause of broken hips and head injuries in older individuals and can increase the risk of early death. They are the leading cause of death from injury among those 65 and older and are the most common cause of hospital admissions among this demographic. Additionally, falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injury among older adults.
These statistics illustrate how important it is to take preventive measures at home to minimize the risk of taking a fall. Here we highlight measures individuals can take to reduce their risk:
Improve Home Safety
Reducing tripping hazards, improving lighting, reducing clutter, installing grab bars in washing areas, raising toilet seats and installing railings on both sides of stairways are all ways of making your home safer.
Many medications can cause dizziness or drowsiness, increasing the risk of a fall. Review all of your medications with your doctor, both over-the-counter and prescription, to find out whether any changes are needed.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
Wearing sturdy, flat shoes with good arch support and nonskid soles will help reduce the likelihood of a fall.
Have Your Eyes Checked
It’s important to have your vision checked every year, and your eyeglasses prescription updated. Impaired vision can impact depth perception making it more difficult to navigate through space, thus increasing the likelihood of tripping and falling.
Regular exercise is important for keeping muscles strong and for improving balance. Weight-bearing exercise increases bone density and can help prevent fractures. Exercises like Tai Chi are excellent for improving leg strength.
Use Assistive Devices
Walkers, canes, raised toilet seats, railings on both sides of staircases, and other precautions can all help prevent falls and make your home safer.
In 2009, over 20,000 older adults died from unintentional fall injuries according to the CDC. Individuals age 75 and over who fall are four to five times more likely than those age 65 to 74 to be admitted to long-term care for a year or longer. The preventive measures outlined here may help keep seniors safe in the comfort of their own homes for longer.
Seniors who require assistance at home can benefit from the professional senior services provided by Always Best Care. Our caring staff provides in-home care to help seniors stay active, engaged, and safe. Contact us for a free consultation at 1-855-470-2273.