Fall is such a beautiful time of the year especially along the Wasatch Front. It’s a time to drink cider, reflect and take in the colors. Fall is also the perfect time to prepare for Winter, and that means preventing senior citizens from falling.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every three adults ages 65 or older falls and two million are treated in emergency departments for fall-related injuries each year. The long-term consequences of fall injuries, such as hip fractures and traumatic brain injuries, can impact the health and independence of older adults. Thankfully, falls are not an inevitable part of aging. In fact, many falls can be prevented.
The ability to maintain your balance is, of course, central to staying on your feet. whatever your age. To improve balance and leg strength, develop an exercise routine that includes stretching and walking. Also, exercise programs such as Tai Chi can increase strength and improve balance, making falls much less likely.
Vision is another key aspect in the prevention of falls. When you don’t see the obstacle, you can’t avoid it! All adults need an annual eye exam. This is especially true for people in their 40s and 50s, as vision deteriorates with time. Most seniors rely on corrective lenses to read, to drive or for all day use. By keeping up with eye health, you’re doing yourself a favor in more ways than one.
Medications are another area to monitor, as many medications successfully address one condition, but can also increase the likelihood of a fall due to dizziness, drowsiness, or other side effects of the medication. You don’t want to be lightheaded on an icy sidewalk this Winter, so please check with your doctor or pharmacist to adjust medications, as needed.
Finally, there are several things you can do around the home to help prevent falls.
- Remove things you might trip over from stairs and places where you walk.
- Install handrails on all staircases.
- 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.
- Put grab bars inside and next to the tub or shower and next to your toilet.
- Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors.
- Improve the lighting in your home. Hang lightweight curtains or shades to reduce glare.
- Wear shoes both inside and outside the house.
Danville Supports Services is here to help you and your aging loved ones stay safely in their homes for as long as possible. Our services range from personal care, running errands, shopping, light housekeeping, transportation, laundry, meal preparation, all the way to respite and in-home nursing care. Call me (Lynn) today at 801-363-1521 to set up a free home assessment, or to discuss how we can work together to keep your mom and dad healthy and happy at home.