One way to follow National Safety Month’s theme to “Keep Each Other Safe” is to take steps to protect senior citizens against falls in their homes.
ProHealth knows that senior falls are a growing problem. Each year, more than one out of four people age 65 and older fall, but less than half of them inform their doctors. And falling once doubles the chances of falling a second time.
Nearly 3 million older people are treated in emergency rooms every year for injuries sustained in a fall, with 800,000 hospitalized – often due to a hip fracture or head injury.
There are many conditions that can increase one’s risk of falling, including:
- Weakness in the lower body
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Use of medicines such as antidepressants, sedatives or tranquilizers can affect balance
- Trip hazards in living areas such as rugs, clutter or uneven steps
Caregiver Tips for Preventing Falls
Reports show that more than 75% of seniors’ injuries occur in home, so it’s helpful for caregivers and family members to address potential risk factors and problem areas.
- Install grab bars beside toilet and in tub or shower.
- Affix non-slip mats on shower floor or bathtub.
- Use nightlights in bedroom and bathroom for late-night bathroom visits.
- Clear clutter from walking paths around the house.
- Remove throw rugs or use double-sided tape to keep them stuck to the floor.
Additional Fall Prevention Tips
- Review medications with doctor to understand side effects, such as drowsiness, that could contribute to falls.
- Do strength and balance exercises such as Tai Chi to strengthen legs and improve balance.
- Get a comprehensive eye exam annually.
For more information on how ProHealth can assist you with in-home physician care or physical therapy, call us at 877-511-9739 or contact us online.