Falls are the leading cause for injury for adults 65 and older. According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), every 13 seconds an older adult is seen in an emergency department for a fall-related injury. 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 NCOA:
1. 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.
2. Talk with your health care provider. Ask for a fall risk assessment. Be sure to let your doctor know of any recent falls.
3. Regularly review your medications with your doctor or pharmacy. Make sure side effects from medications aren’t increasing the risk of falls. Remember to always take medication as prescribed.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. Talk with your friends and family. Ask loved ones how they can help make the home environment safer.
7. 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 statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20 to 30 percent of older adults who fall experience injuries that make it hard for them to live independently and increase their chances of early death. Nearly 85 percent of deaths from falls in 2004 were of people age 75 and older.
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 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 free in-home fall assessment.