1.8 million elderly people went to hospitals in the USA in a single year because of FALLS. Our business helps many people who have had a fall, are in the hospital and are told by a doctor that they cannot go home but need to enter a “care” facility. Younger people often recover from a fall but some seniors never do.
Many accidents are preventable.
Here are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of a fall:
Improve the lighting!
Get rid of clutter.
Make sure the “pathways” that you use in your home are unobstructed. Accidents are usually unexpected and often precipitated by a distraction. The phone rings or someone is at the door and you “Jump up!”
Look at the entrance steps. Make sure they are unobstructed and have no worn carpet.
Remove scatter rugs.
Limit foot stools.
Be very careful with step stools.
Install handrails where needed.
Have a pharmacist check all medications to see if any (or a combination of them) could be causing dizziness or fatigue.
Get your vision checked. Do not wear reading glasses when walking around your residence. I wore mine on stairs one day and had a fall!
Make sure the hems on pants or a bathrobe are not too long. We “shrink” as we age and hems that you are tripping are a hazard.
Wear proper fitting footwear.
If your laundry room is in a basement look at moving it to the ground floor. Carrying laundry up and down stairs has injured many of the seniors we have worked with. Another option is to hire someone to do the laundry for you.
Remain active. Exercise actually improves both balance and strength.
See our previous articles posted on Fall Prevention Day about avoiding falls and after falls!