Nearly one in three seniors living in their own home or the home of adult children caregivers suffers from serious falls at least once every year.
It should also be mentioned that nearly half the seniors who suffer from a serious fracture, such as a hip, pelvic or spinal fracture, never completely recover from the injury. Add to that medical complications created through immobility or bed-ridden conditions and almost 25% die within six months to a year following such an injury.
Can such statistics be reduced? Yes, of course! Fall risks to seniors may be alleviated or even prevented. Here are some things you can do to diminish the risk of falling:
1. Making sure they get enough activity and exercise. Sedentary elders fall more often than those who stay as fit and as physically active as possible.
2. Ensure a safer living space by:
- installing support bars in the washroom
- decluttering the living space (have minimal furniture, decorative items, plants etc.)
- securing rugs to the floor, or better, getting rid of rugs. Most falls are caused by tripping over rugs
- securing cords and wires away from high traffic areas
3. Also be aware that medications and medical conditions may alter vision acuity, depth perception, or may cause dizziness and confusion. Speak to the doctor or pharmacist about the side effects of the medication he or she is on
Do whatever you can to reduce the risk of elderly falls in your home. Taking simple measures provides effective fall prevention in most scenarios. A few dollars spent now may potentially save thousands and serious injury down the line.
Share your fall prevention tips by posting a comment below.
Healthcare Consultant, in4MED
The author of this blog post is a Physician with over 10 years of experience working in the healthcare system as a clinician, researcher and educator. She is passionate about healthcare for older adults and strives to be a resourceful inspiration to caregivers.
*No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare professional.