Fall Prevention for Seniors
Per the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 3 million older adults are treated in Emergency Departments for fall-related injuries of which one out of five falls causes a serious injury- such as broken bones or a head injury. Hospitalizations from fall-related injuries can be lengthy and costly but the good news is that most falls are preventable!!
The National Council on Aging suggests the following proactive steps you can take to help prevent falls from happening to you and/or your loved ones:
- Commit to an exercise program- preferably one that focuses on balance. Exercises that improve balance and make your legs stronger (such as Yoga and Tai Chi), lower your chances of falling
- Keep your routine doctor appointments and, if you or your loved one are feeling any bit unsteady or off-balance, report this to your physician
- Good vision and hearing are crucial to one’s overall ability to balance and stabilize. If your vision and/or hearing hasn’t been evaluated in a while, make it a priority to schedule an appointment with your doctor to check on this
- Take a good look around and make sure there aren’t any trip-hazards in your home. Here are some things to consider when evaluating your home:
- Keep floors clutter-free
- Avoid using small throw rugs or, if you do have some rugs that don’t have an anti-slip backing, use double-sided tape to keep the rugs from slipping
- Keep items that you use often in an easy-to-reach spot
- Install grab rails in your tub/shower and next to the toilet. With ABC’s In-Home Modification services, a licensed ABC contractor will come to a home to install handicap ramps, grab rails etc.
- Ensure you have non-slip mats in the bathtub and bathroom floors
- Make sure all areas of your home are well lit and opt for light-weight curtains or shades to reduce glares on sunny days
- Be sure you have stable railings on all staircases (both interior and exterior)
- For long hallways, consider having handrails installed to eliminate any risk of falling when walking from one room to another
- Wear well-fitting shoes with good support inside and outside the house. Avoid shoes with ties as they can become a menace when untied
- In addition to your healthcare professional, address any concerns regarding balance, mobility and trouble with completing everyday tasks with your friends and family and formulate a plan
Especially during the winter months, older adults are more likely to fall. Freezing temperatures, snow and rain make for a very dangerous mix and many falls happen when seniors head out to run errands. Further eliminate the risk of falls happening with ABC’s Shopping Service for Seniors! The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is highly contagious and is spreading rampantly. Aside from falling, ABC’s shopping services can keep you out of the stores, away from others and drastically reduce your risk for COVID exposures. It’s a win-win all around!