Preventing Falls for Seniors in Their Homes
When we are growing up falling isn’t uncommon. Playing sports, dancing and even learning to walk we fall again and again. That begins to change with age. Falling fades away from everyday life and then morphs into a fear. Many seniors and older adults fear falling and the consequences that follow. Even if they have not fallen it becomes a nagging thought. The fear falling can lead to seniors avoiding their friends and activities they love. Falling doesn’t have to be an inevitable part of aging.
Falling continues to be the leader in both fatal and nonfatal injuries among adults 65 and older. One out of every three seniors will fall this year unnecessarily. In the real world that means every 14 seconds a senior is treated in the emergency room for a fall, and every 29 minutes a senior will lose their life due to a fall. The severity of a fall in the life of a senior is however, something that can be lessened.
Studies aimed at reducing the rate of falls among seniors have been conducted by groups, independents, and universities. The data has been analyzed and solutions formed. The clear solution to mitigating falls is to be proactive. The main suspects in provoking a fall in a senior are environment, balance disorders, and blood pressure irregularities correlated with medication changes. Learning to become proactive starts with a visit to the doctor. The sad truth is that even after a fall that did not end in a hospital visit seniors are just as likely to say nothing than visit their healthcare professional about the incident, and how it might be prevented next time. While doctors present the starting place to minimizing the likelihood of a fall the core focus should be on the home.
Falling by the Numbers
- 1 in 3 adults 65+ will fall this year
- Falls are the leader in fatal and nonfatal injuries in seniors
- Every 14 seconds a senior is treated for a fall in an emergency room
- The total cost of falls this year will break $36,000,000,000
Approximately 55% of all falls take place within a senior’s home. To help prevent the greatest source of falls Right at Home has joined with Rein Tideiksaar, Ph.D., PA-C, a gerontologist, geriatric physician’s assistant and President of FallPrevent a consulting company that provides educational and legal services related to fall prevention for the elderly. The partnership created the Fall Prevention Guide, a seven-page detailed breakdown of each room within your home providing preventive measures to avoid a costly fall.
Right at Home’s Fall Prevention Guide is a free resource for you and your family to use and refer to as you need.
Your Fall Prevention Guide
Fall Prevention Quick Steps
- Consult with your health care professional about any previous falls or any fears of falling
- If your doctor permits, continue to stay active. Walking, tai chi, and swimming are great places to start
- Make sure your living space has appropriate lighting and unneeded obstacles are removed
- Consider a referral to an occupational therapist for creating new strategies and ideas that will help prevent falls.
Falling Is Not An Inevitable Part Of Aging