Falls account for the majority of injuries to seniors, both in residential living facilities as well as private homes. Recurrent falls can not only cause new injuries but aggravate previous health conditions, so education on preventing falls in seniors is essential.
Here are a few basic tips to help prevent falls in seniors.
1. Make sure to use proper lighting! One straightforward way to help to avoid accidental falls in the elderly is to ensure that all areas have adequate lighting and they are easily accessible. Glaucoma and other eye conditions can cause decreased vision so addition light, sources or brightened lights are extremely helpful. Accessibility is just as important. If a senior has a difficult time turning on a light that can cause unnecessary injuries also.
2. Remove or repair any hazardous conditions. Careful inspection of a senior’s living and recreational areas should be done to identify and correct any problems that can cause injuries or falls. A loose carpet or uneven floor are common causes.
3. Beware of steps! Being able to move from one room to another without climbing stairs helps decrease the chances for falls. Seniors are more likely to fall when ascending up or descending down stairs even when there are only a few steps.
4. Remove unnecessary items/ declutter your space. Whether accumulation of personal items or unwashed laundry, clutter of any kind is a hazard that can easily be removed. Clothing should be kept either in dresser drawers or in a closet. Papers and books should be organized in such a way that nothing blocks a seniors path. Decluttering is also a very important thing to remember when considering fire hazards as well.
5. Be mindful of clothing including footwear. Shoes should be well fitted and slip on shoes, or those with velcro closures are ideal to prevent falls.
6. Use safety items especially in the bathroom. Handrails, nonslip mats, grab bars and other safety items are excellent in preventing falls.
7. Slow down! Such a simple prevention tool is often overlooked. Preparing ahead of time reduces the need to rush which in turn reduces one’s risk of falling as well.
These are just a few helpful tips for preventing falls in seniors. Fall prevention is of the utmost importance because they are the leading cause of health-related deaths in the elderly. Falls are unfortunately also more widespread than most know. Being aware of the risks associated with them and the knowledge of how to prevent them is priceless. These tips are helpful for ALL seniors, not just those who have already been identified as fall risks.
For a senior that is otherwise is excellent health, one misstep caused by loose fitting clothing or dim lighting can be fatal. Just as wearing a seatbelt in any automobile or wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle helps prevent life-threatening injuries and death so does fall prevention, especially in seniors. Taking the time for education on the risks as well as the most effective methods of preventing falls is well worth it.
There are campaigns and advertisements worldwide informing the public of the risks associated with other accidents that cause injuries yet falls have traditionally not been viewed in the same regard. With deaths caused by preventable falls at an alarming high in seniors, these tips must be taught and adhered to. Here at Bestland Senior Living Community, we educate our staff and residents on these tips. Please share our article with a loved one to help spread the awareness on fall prevention.