We have all fallen at some point in our lives. Maybe it was down a flight of stairs, or perhaps in a slippery tub or on a patch of ice. With luck, we pick ourselves up and continue on. As we age, though, these falls not only become more frequent, they also become more dangerous.
Consider these statistics from the CDC:
· One out of three adults age 65 and older falls each year.
· Among older adults (those 65 or older), falls are the leading cause of injury death.
· In 2010, 2.3 million nonfatal fall injuries among older adults were treated in emergency departments.
· In 2010, the direct medical costs of falls, adjusted for inflation, was $30.0 billion.
These are serious figures. So what, exactly, causes this increased risk? Medication is one. Some meds can cause dizziness or drowsiness. Another is poor eyesight. And finally, tripping hazards. Meds can be adjusted, and poor eyesight can be treated. And yes, tripping hazards can be removed. Here are some tips to help protect the seniors in your life:
· Remove all throw/area rugs from the home.
· Make transitions between rooms smooth. Thresholds are dangerous even at a 1/4” high.
· Install grab bars in the bathrooms.
· Install railings on both sides of the staircase.
· Have the senior wear shoes or slippers at all times.
· Have the senior use a walker if they are unsteady on their feet.
· Purchase recliners that lift for getting up/sitting down.
· Install a bath transfer seat.
· Remind the senior to never climb on chairs.
· Purchase a step stool with a handle for support.
· Keep floors clear of clutter.
· Keep sidewalks clear in the winter.
Keep the seniors in your life healthy and happy.