Mar 19, 2009, 12:17 PM
Post #1 of 7
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 3 seniors fall every year resulting in 90% of senior citizen hip fractures. Of the seniors who fall, 60% of them die from complications. (Murphy 2000).
The risk of falling increases with age and falling is the number one cause of injury in adults over 65. These numbers are cause for great concern, but awareness and prevention can help decrease the likelihood of falls.
It is important to recognize factors that contribute to falls. They include: change in eye site, lack of strength or physical ailments, changes in medication or dosages, poor lighting, stairs, throw rugs, small objects lying around the house, and other risk factors that add to the list.
How can you prevent the risk of falling for yourself or loved-one? First, you need to assess the living situation. Does the house or apartment have stairs? If possible, opt for housing that is one level or requires little use of stairs. If this is not an option, make sure there are handrails to assist in climbing the stairs. Also, put handrails near the toilet and shower in each bathroom. Next, exchange house slippers for fitted, gripped shoes, remove loose throw rugs or tape them down, and tack down carpet edges. You will also want to keep all wiring or electrical cords out of walkways and ensure there is adequate lighting throughout the home. In addition to the aforementioned, check to see if surfaces around the house or property are even. Fill any cracks in the sidewalks or driveway and remove unsteady porch swings or benches.
Taking care of you or your loved-one’s health will also decrease the chance of falling. Set up hearing appointments every two years and eye appointments every year to check for changes or indications of concern. Have a health professional review all medications. Some medication combinations can make one dizzy or cause other serious side effects. Also, several medications may be less effective as the body ages.
Finally, consult your physician about a regular exercise program. Exercise will increase both strength and stamina, which decreases the likelihood of falls. Physical activity also helps improve coordination and balance.
We know that with age comes the risk of falls that can lead to serious injury or death. Improving health and being aware of potential hazards will help keep you or your loved-one safe from falls.
For more information contact me at www.sgwseniors.com.
(This post was edited by StephenWinbaum on Mar 20, 2009, 11:40 AM)