Don’t Stumble and Tumble.
Falling is a BIG problem. One out of three older people falls each year, but less than half tell their doctor. Falling one time doubles your chances of falling again.
Falls Are Serious
Each year, 2.5 million older people are treated in the ER for fall injuries, and 700,000 are hospitalized with head injuries and hip fractures.
Elderly people fall in and around home for several reasons.
- Lower body weakness or difficulty with walking and balance.
- Vitamin D deficiency (not enough vitamin D in your system).
- Medicines, such as tranquilizers, sedatives, or antidepressants…even some over-the-counter medicines can affect balance.
- Vision problems or foot pain.
Fall Prevention At Home
- Keep your home neat and tidy. Remove clutter from hallways and staircases.
- In the winter, get your walkways shoveled and salted.
- Repair or remove tripping hazards like loose carpet, slippery throw rugs or wood floorboards that stick up.
- Install grab bars and handrails for safety going up and down stairs, getting on and off the toilet, and stepping in and out of the bathtub without injuring yourself.
- Install brighter light bulbs where needed, particularly in stairways and narrow hallways. A night light in the bedroom and bathroom helps if you get up at night.
- Wear proper clothing and comfortable, non-slip shoes according to the weather. If you must wear socks indoors, get socks with non-slip treads so you do not slip.
- Use non-slip mats in wet areas like bathtubs, showers, kitchens and porches.
Fall Prevention Outdoors
- Walk slowly and deliberately and wear boots or other slip-resistant footwear.
- Use the railings
- Bring your cell phone
- Be prepared for black-ice formation after melting occurs.
- Exercise caution when getting in and out of vehicles.
- Watch for slippery floors when entering buildings.
- Avoid carrying too many items. Keep hands empty so arms are free to move for stabilization. Use backpacks if possible.
Happy New Year!
Keep the new year happy and healthy by learning and practicing these helpful hints to prevent a fall.