Did you know that falls are the leading cause of disability and death in seniors? Instead of focusing attention on what to do after a fall, like those commercials for “help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”, seniors would be better focusing on injury prevention instead. There are many things you can do, for yourself and in your home, to prevent falls before they cause irreparable harm or death.
Falls happen for a variety of reasons
Some are physical some are environmental. Environmental causes, meaning causes found in the home, can be remedied in a variety of ways. One way is to move furniture in order to provide clean paths throughout the home. Seniors should also put things they need more often on shelves and in cupboards that are easily reached. this will keep them from having to use stepstools or chairs which can be easily knocked over or fallen from.
Steps and throw rugs
In homes with sunken rooms, meaning there is a step down to go into the room, putting bright fluorescent tape on the step will help make it easier to see. Other fixes include rerouting electrical cords that could cause tripping, removing throw rugs or securing them with double sided tape to prevent tripping and installing railings and handrails throughout the home to help give seniors something to hold. Other fixes can also be installing walk in tubs or showers to prevent falls in the bath.
Other causes for falls are physical issues such as vertigo, dizziness and so on caused by medications or other medical issues. If medications are the issue, talk with your doctor about possibly changing to a different medication or adjusting dosage to prevent that side effect. If there are other medical issues, physical therapy can be a huge help. Between exercise programs to strengthen muscles and help with balance issues, seniors can become less dizzy and more confident they won’t fall. Physical therapy can also help them learn how to fall more safely and how to more easily get up if they do fall.
Don’t spend your time and money on after fall help, work and focus on fall prevention. The seniors in your life will appreciate it!
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