Every year in this country, one out of every three people over the age of 65 falls, according to the CDC. Even more disturbing is that less than half notify their doctor of the incident. A startling fact is that falling just one time actually doubles your chances of doing it again. The next fall could be worse, resulting in a serious head injury or a broken bone. In this article on in-home fall prevention for seniors we will uncover some prevention tips to reduce the risks associated with falls.
Not only are falls serious to the health of seniors, they’re costly as well. Here are some sobering stats about senior falls:
- About 2.5 million older adults are treated in emergency departments for injuries resulting from a fall.
- More than 700,000 people end up in the hospital due to a fall, particularly a head injury or hip fracture. About 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling, usually sideways.
- Falls happen to be the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries, known for short as TBI.
- Medical costs for fall injuries have skyrocketed into the $34 billion range every year, with hospital stays accounting for two-thirds of that total.
There are many factors than can make people more prone to falls than others, such as lower body weakness, a deficiency in Vitamin D, balance issues, use of antidepressants and other medications, vision difficulties, poor footwear, and hazards in the home. These can range from throw rugs and uneven steps to the lack of handrails in a bathroom.
Fortunately, falls in older adults can be prevented.
- First off, talk to your doctor about what you can do to stay safe, or inquire on behalf of your loved one who may be facing these issues. Your doctor can evaluate your risk for falling and let you know some tips for preventing dangerous falls. Perhaps you could take a Vitamin D supplement to strengthen your bones.
- Head to your local pharmacy and ask the pharmacist about any drug interactions that could cause dizziness or impaired balance.
- See your eye doctor once a year to update your contact and eye glasses prescriptions. Do you have bifocal or progressive lenses? Ask to get glasses with a distance prescription for outdoor activities, such as walking, which sometimes makes object appear closer or more distant than they are in actuality.
- Engage in exercises that are good for coordination and balance, such as tai chi and yoga.
- Walk through the home and make any necessary changes to make the area safe. Remove anything that can easily be tripped over, such as a throw rug that has a protruding lip. Install grab bars in your bathroom for easy gripping when emerging from a bath or shower. In the same vein, add stair rails to all stair cases on both sides. Incorporate more illumination within the home so you can see clearly at night.
By doing your part in fall prevention for seniors, you can reduce the chances of a devastating fall.
If you are interested in learning more about in-home fall prevention for seniors or non-medical home care services available at All Heart Home Care, contact us today at 619-736-4677. We offer free in-home consultations and can explain all of the benefits obtained from using our home care services!