Almost one in every three seniors suffer falls every year. Falls are the number one cause of all injuries in seniors, and frequently result in fractures, cuts, and sometimes serious head or brain injuries. Even when no physical injury results from a fall, taking a tumble often creates a fear within the person that they may fall again – and that they may not be as lucky the second time.
For seniors living in their own residence, some steps can be taken to prevent falls. Some of those tips include:
- Tidy up. Removing clutter from around the house may be the simplest but most effective way of preventing falls.
- Remove tripping hazards. Examine each and every room in your home for tripping hazards. Items such as loose floorboards or carpet may easily be tripped on. Have these items repaired if possible, or removed completely.
- Light your home. Low lighting is a big contributor for falls. Install brighter lights in the home, especially in stairways and hallways. Consider adding nightlights in bedrooms and bathrooms for night time use.
- Live on one level if possible. Stairs are a significant falling hazard. If it is possible to live in only one level, arrange for that set up.
- Install handrails. Wherever possible, install grab bars and hand rails. These are crucial for aiding in stair use, as well as bathtub and toilet use, to avoid falling while getting up or down.
- Wear shoes. Shoes help to avoid dangerous slips especially on hard flooring. If wearing shoes in the home is not an option, purchase socks with non-slip soles.
For the elderly, preventing falls is key to a long and healthy life. Using the tips above, you can help to avoid falls and prevent serious injuries.