Falls are the leading cause of death, injury, and hospitalization among the elderly community. In fact, each year, more than 2.8 million fall-related injuries are treated in emergency rooms.
What may seem like a simple or light fall to a younger person can cause an elderly person extensive bodily damage with long recoveries that are painful and may lead to permanent physical disabilities.
Despite the range of care options available, older people are increasingly choosing to stay at home. If your aging loved ones prefer independent living, here are some tips that will make their life easier, and give you some peace of mind.
1.) Begin a regular exercise program.
Exercise is one of the most important ways to lower your chances of falling. It makes you stronger and helps you feel better. Exercise that improves balance and coordination (like Tai Chi) are the most helpful.
Lack of exercise leads to weakness and increases your chances of falling.
Ask your doctor or healthcare provider about the best type of exercise program for you.
2.) Have your health care provider review your medicines.
Have your doctor or pharmacist review all the medicines you take, even over-the-counter medicines. As you get older, the way medicines work in your body can change. Some medicines, or combinations of medicines, can make you sleepy or dizzy and cause you to fall.
3.) Have your vision checked.
Have your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year. You may be wearing the wrong glasses or have a condition like glaucoma or cataracts that limits your vision. Poor vision can increase your chances of falling.
4.) Most important…. Make your home safer
- Remove things you can trip over (like papers, books, clothes, and shoes) from stairs and places you walk.
- Remove small throw rugs or use double-sided tape to keep the rugs from slipping.
- Keep items you use often in cabinets you can reach easily without using a step stool.
- Install grab bars put in next to your toilet and in the tub or shower.
- Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors.
- Improve the lighting in your home. As you get older, you need brighter lights to see well. Hang light-weight curtains or shades to reduce glare.
- Install handrails and lights put on staircases.
- Wear shoes both inside and outside your house. Avoid going barefoot or wearing slippers.
Many falls can be prevented. By making some changes, you can lower your chances of falling. Call Home Health CC for more information or click here.