For seniors, a fall is among the leading causes of hospitalization or involuntary admission to a nursing care facility. The reasons why seniors fall down are many. Some of these include:
- Physical changes and muscle weakness often associated with aging
- Prescription medications that may cause dizziness or unsteadiness
- Chronic aches and pains
- Fear of falling and its resultant decrease in physical activity
All of this, combined with the negative feelings that may arise from losing one's independence and relying on others for care, makes the prevention of elderly falls an essential component of senior health and safety at home.
What Can Be Done To Safeguard Against Falling*
Here are twelve precise actions that could keep yourself, and/or your loved ones, safer from falls.
- Get regular physical examinations, especially eye exams
- Stay as physically active as possible, according to a primary care physician's guidelines
- Install brighter lighting throughout the home
- Remove excess clutter along walk ways and hallways; keep all electrical cords out of the way
- Install handrails where needed and use them for added stability
- Use a mobility aid, such as a cane or power mobility scooter for basic support when limited strength, loss of balance, or decreased endurance is the issue
- Wear sturdy, rubber-soled shoes for walking and avoid wearing socks on slippery floors
- Never run to get the door or to answer the phone
- Take medications only as prescribed and learn about potential side effects
- Make walking surfaces safer (remove area rugs, use non-slip mats on floors and in the bath)
- Re-organize frequently accessed items so they are easier to reach
- Never use stools or step ladders when alone
Preventing Falls with Personal Mobility Solutions
If you, or someone you care for, experiences progressive challenges to mobility that make it increasingly difficult to independently move about within the home, the risk for falling is great. One way of preventing falls, and preventing serious injury from a fall, is to use some form of power mobility equipment.
Customized power wheelchairs, mobility scooters and personal lifting solutions (bath lifts, stair lifts, etc.) can take away some of the worry about falling, while making it easier and safer to conduct activities of daily living.
With the reliable aid of powered mobility, activities such as grooming, eating, bathing, and moving throughout the rooms in one's own home, can be accomplished in secure, safer comfort.
*The Center for Disease Control and the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control recommends many of these tips. Find more helpful facts at CDC.Gov
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional medical advice.