Falls in the elderly are the leading cause of fatal as well as non-fatal injuries. Thirty percent of people over the age of 65 will fall each year – which is why I feel it necessary to share some ways that you can decrease the chances of falls in your (or your loved ones) home.
Did you know that the U.S. spends approximately $20.2 billion every year to treat the injuries of older people after falls, and that the majority of the cost is for hip fracture care? The most common types of injuries sustained after falls include: hip, spine, and wrist fractures as well as head trauma. These types of injuries can result in serious disabilities as well as lengthy rehabilitation.
It is absolutely crucial for anyone living with the elderly, or on their own, to be aware of this situation and do everything in their power to prevent falls in the home. The best thing you can do to reduce the possibility of falls is to safe your living environment (or the environment of the person you’re worried about).
Here are some tips to help you fall proof your home…
– Clean up spills as soon as they occur
– Do not store any objects that require a stool to reach
– If needed, use a step stool with hand rails
– Never climb on counters to obtain objects
– Do not use throw rugs anywhere in the house
– Make sure you have ample space to navigate around furniture
– Keep all electrical cords out off the floor and out of the way
– Keep a night light on at all times
– Install rails in the bathtub/shower
– Place a non-slip mat in the bathtub/shower
– Make sure not to leave anything on the steps
– Install anti-slip tape on all hardwood stairs
– Install hand rails on both sides of the steps
While not all falls can be prevented, maintaining a safe home environment is the best this you can do to minimize loss of balance and falling.
Also keep in mind that your physical therapist can provide strategies to help improve your strength, as well as reaction time, to help prevent falls. In addition if a fall occurs we can help you with rehabilitation to make sure that you’re back to normal as quickly and safely as possible. Do not hesitate to give us a call if you have any questions. We can be reached at ….or by filling out this contact form.