Falls are the leading cause of injury for adults 65 and older. In fact, every 11 seconds an older adult is seen in an emergency department for a fall-related injury and every 19 minutes a senior dies from a fall. However, many falls are preventable. In addition to improving your balance to help prevent falls, there are also many ways falls can be prevented, especially with in-home care.
Here are some safety tips for seniors from the National Council on Aging:
- Find a good balance and exercise program. Your local senior center or Area Agency on Aging may have some free or low-cost programs. Also check with your primary care provider for recommendations about exercises to do at home.
- Talk with your health care provider. Ask for a fall risk assessment. Be sure to let your doctor know of any recent falls.
- Regularly review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist. Make sure side effects from medications aren’t increasing the risk of falls. Remember to always take medication as prescribed.
- Get your vision and hearing checked annually. Your eyes and ears help keep you on your feet! Wearing prescribed eyeglasses and hearing aids can help increase awareness of obstacles that could lead to a fall.
- Keep your home safe. Decrease clutter, remove tripping hazards and be sure each room has good lighting. Railings and grab bars may also be helpful.
- Talk with your friends and family. Ask loved ones how they can help make the home environment safer.
- Download this infographic. Keeping these tips somewhere you can see them will serve as an easy reminder on how to prevent falls in the future.
Falls can have serious consequences for older adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of five falls causes a serious injury such as a broken bone, which can make it hard for someone to live on their own.
Older adults who have experienced a fall often develop a fear of falling again. As a result of this fear, they may limit their activities. Unfortunately, restricting movement can lead to reduced mobility and strength and increase their risk of falling.
ComForCare/At Your Side Home Care can help older adults stay on their feet with in-home care. We offer around-the-clock services that help you have peace of mind, rather than worries about falls. Contact us to learn more about how you or your loved one can receive a no obligation in-home fall risk assessment.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published November 4, 2015. It has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.