At Alliance Homecare, the health and wellbeing of our clients is always top priority. This National Safety Month, we’re shining a spotlight on a topic of concern for many older adults and their families – falls.
According to the National Safety Council’s Injury Facts1, falls are the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths for all ages and the number one cause of death for those 65 and older. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention2 have reported:
- More than one out of four older adults fall each year, yet less than half tell their doctor
- Nearly 30,000 adults aged 65 and older died from falls in 2016
- Each year, 2.8 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries
- At least 300,000 older adults are hospitalized for hip fractures each year
- More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling (usually by falling sideways)
While it’s clear that falls are a serious matter, especially for older adults, the good news is that there are many ways to be proactive and lower the risk. Take these simple steps from the National Safety Council3 to prevent falls at home:
- Remove clutter, including electrical cords and other tripping hazards, from walkways, stairs and doorways
- Install nightlights in the bathroom, hallways and other areas to prevent tripping and falls at night
- Always wear proper footwear and clean up spills immediately
- Place non-slip adhesive strips on stairs and non-skid mats in the shower and bathroom
- Install grab bars near showers and toilets, and install rails on both sides of stairs
- Keep outdoor areas are well lit and walkways smooth and free from ice
- Get vision and hearing checked annually
That’s not all. Older adults can improve balance through exercise programs like Tai Chi, which may even be done in a wheelchair. Personal walking devices (canes or walkers) also aid in stability. In addition, on optimal level of Vitamin D has been shown to increase muscle strength and function.
It’s important to note that there are fall risks associated with certain medications. Consult your doctors and pharmacist to see if any existing prescriptions or over-the-counter medications might cause dizziness or sleepiness. Alliance also offers home health wound care management services to assist your loved if they have suffered an injury that requires consistent care.
If you or someone you love could benefit from Alliance Homecare’s comprehensive offerings, call (877) 687-7380 to speak with our expert Care Managers today.
1 National Safety Council. Injury Facts 2017. https://bit.ly/2xc8wpl. Accessed May 25, 2018.
2 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Important Facts about Falls. https://bit.ly/2n0twcO. Accessed May 25, 2018.
3 National Safety Council. Prevent Slips, Trips and Falls. https://bit.ly/2qz3ZrC. Accessed May 25, 2018.