Senior falls are more common than you think it is – according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of three adults aged 65 and above falls every year. For those aged 65 and above, falls are the number one cause of injury death and are also the leading cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma.
These falls could result in moderate to severe injuries including lacerations, head traumas, and hip fractures, and is in fact the leading cause of TBI or traumatic brain injuries. Fractures to the arm, leg, ankle, hip, pelvis, spine, and hand could also occur.
And as the old adage goes, “prevention is better than cure.” Understanding what possible risk factors cause falls can help you create a safer environment for seniors.
Below are some senior home care tips regarding fall prevention in the elderly:
- Involve and encourage seniors to exercise regularly.
Lack of physical activity can lead to poor muscle tone, loss of bone mass and flexibility, and overall decreased strength, all of which can cause falls and affect the severity of fall-caused injury. Choose exercises that can increase leg strength and improve balance and flexibility. Make sure that the exercises are done properly, without causing strain to the senior. Proper gear such as socks or shoes should also be worn.
- Pay a visit to the doctor and have them review the senior’s medication.
Some prescription and over-the-counter drugs may cause dizziness and drowsiness. Talk with your doctor and discuss options on how to reduce such side effects.
- Visit the eye doctor.
Impaired vision, such as that caused by glaucoma and cataracts may cause the senior to have poor depth perception or sensitivity to glare. Such factors could impede on the senior’s ability to navigate his or her way through the environment. Visit the ophthalmologist and have the senior’s eyeglasses checked and adjusted to maximize their vision.
- Fall-proof your home.
The environment in which the senior moves around in can be the culprit – are your outdoor pathways cluttered with rocks or tools? Is there not enough light to discern the walkways? Do throw rugs decorate every doorway of your home? Are appliance cords only waiting to trip anyone up?
Falls in older adults are common and dangerous, yes. But you can prevent it with Senior Fall Prevention tips such as those aforementioned. These are just simple steps compared to the cost, hassle and grief that could result from a fall. Fall prevention should be a mandatory part of your senior home care plan.