Each year, 2.8 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries, and over 800,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall injury. Falls can be deadly, but then can also be prevented. There are a few steps you can take to prevent senior falls at home.
One of the biggest fall hazards for anyone of any age is clutter in the home. Make sure floors are neat and tidy. Tuck electrical cords away, remove bed skirts and replace slippery area rugs. Make sure there’s ample room around furniture to walk. Store frequently used items within reach, such as on top of a dresser or in a eye-level cabinet.
Bathrooms pose a huge risk of senior falls. A few simple tweaks will make your bathroom more safe. Install shower grip bars to assist in getting in and out of the shower. Add non-slip mats both outside and inside the shower to avoid slipping on water. Raising the toilet seat and adding grip bars will help in standing up and sitting down without a fall.
Loose clothing may be more comfortable, but baggy pants present a huge fall hazard. Stick to hemmed pants and better-fighting tops. Slippery socks are also unsafe – instead look for a comfortable pair of slip-resistant shoes.
Let the Light In
It’s easy to fall when you can’t see where you’re going. Make sure each room is clearly lit, paying careful attention to stairways and hallways. Adding nightlights provides more security when it’s dark outside. For tabletop lights, lengthen cords and add pull-lights so lights can be turned on and off more easily without leaning. Always remember to have your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year. If you do require glasses, be sure to have them on before standing or walking.
Do Balance Exercises
Regularly practicing balancing can do wonders toward preventing falls. Focus on exercises that improve the strength of your legs as well as your flexibility. Tai Chi and Yoga are both excellent ways of strengthening your legs.
By following these simple steps, you can drastically reduce the risk of senior falls. At SYNERGY, our 24 hour caregivers keep an eye out for risks of falling and ensure that your home is safe.