Fall Prevention Month: Tips to Reduce the Risk of Falling for Seniors

Daughter-Hugging-Grandma-WebSeptember is National Fall Prevention Month. This month is a good reminder for seniors, caretakers, and families to take preventative measures, not just this month, but every month of the year.  We are living at a time when people are living longer and enjoying independence staying in their home, making it important to learn more about home safety to minimize the risk of our seniors falling- an accident that could even be fatal.

Nationally there has been a frequency of older adults falling. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released these numbers related to seniors falling:

  • 5 million falls were treated in an ER in 2013 and of those 734,000 were hospitalized
  • 25,500 older adults die each year from unintentional falls; 250,000 receive hip fractures
  • 1/3 of elder population fall each year and the risk increases with age
  • 15% of Mesa County are seniors, which equals approximately 7100 falls each year

With one in every three adults age 65 years and older falling each year, falls are becoming the cause of many fatal and nonfatal injuries. Falls can have an enormous ripple effect on families. Worry, stress, and time from work becomes an exhausting vicious cycle.  Not only do families worry, but seniors become afraid to move with the fear of falling again and become more dependent. Here are some tips to help families keep their loved one safe and minimize the risks of falling:

  • Exercise – keep moving
  • Medication review by physician
  • Check vision yearly
  • Install hand rails, grab bars
  • Reduce tripping hazards (throw rugs, extension cords)
  • Insure good lighting
  • Avoid icy walks, polished floors
  • Wear sensible shoes
  • Avoid walking alone in unfamiliar places
  • Using assisted walking devices (a cane, walker) can increase independence

 

By taking these preventative measures, we can help our seniors remain safe and secure in their own homes. For more information and assistance call Susan Williams, Aging Life Care Specialist at 970-208-1345.

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