Here are safety tips for avoiding falls, both indoors and outdoors, along with a few other considerations and warnings.
Every year, millions of older Americans suffer from falls. In fact, falls are at the top of the list for injuries in people 65 and older. We don't like to think about this happening to us or our aging parents. However, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, one out of every three seniors will fall this year.
After the first fracture occurs, there's a higher chance of having an additional fracture, which is known as a "cascade effect". Fortunately, we can lower our odds for falling by taking certain precautions. Here are some simple safety tips for avoiding falls, both indoors and outdoors, along with a few other considerations and warnings.
- Use a sturdy kitchen stool for reaching items. Moreover, have another person with you for support when using a stool.
- Another great option for getting hard-to-reach objects is using a "reacher" - also called a "grabber". This is a medical tool that helps disabled people reach things that are hard to reach.
- Immediately clean up spills on floors from foods, liquids and grease.
- Never stand in front of swinging doorways and cabinets.
- Keep your kitchen organized so you can access items with ease.
- Install grab bars on the walls of a tub and/or shower.
- Include a sturdy shower bench in your shower and use a handheld shower nozzle when showering.
- Use non-slip mats or place adhesive strips on the floors of showers and tubs.
- Consider installing a toilet seat with armrests or a raised seat, this is helpful if you suffer from limited mobility after a medical event such as hip or knee replacement.
- Remove throw rugs or use non-slip backing to secure them.
- Plug in nightlights that can guide you safely to the bathroom at night.
- Have your closet shelves positioned between your shoulder and waist, so you don't overly reach or bend when accessing items.
- Keep stairs clean, dry and clutter-free.
- Hold on to the bannister.
- Ensure the stairway is well lit.
- Never attempt to carry heavy items up and down stairs.
Tips to Help Prevent Outdoor Falls
- If needed, use a cane or walker.
- Remove debris, clutter, branches and leaves from driveways, walkways, decks and porches.
- Wear non-skid boots when walking on snow.
- Avoid walking on snow that could contain hidden "black ice".
- Check the height of a curb before you step up or down.
Other Considerations and Warnings
- It's estimated worldwide, 158 million people who are over age 50 stand a higher risk for getting bone fractures. Alarmingly, this number is expected to double by the year 2040.
- Falls can cause hip fractures, bumps and bruises, it can also lead to severe brain and head injuries with some of them being fatal.
- Less than half of the seniors who fall don't tell their doctors. It is important to keep an open line of communication with your medical practitioner.
- If you suffer from osteoporosis staying proactive in preventing falls is key. This medical condition involves the bones becoming fragile and brittle due to tissue and calcium deficiencies, in addition to hormonal changes.
- Routinely declutter your home and keep walk areas clear of household debris.
- Wear non-skid shoes and socks.
- Public places tend to have shiny, polished tile or marble floors, these areas can be exceptionally slippery, therefore walk on the designated runners.
- Hold onto handrails when using escalators.
These guidelines are to bring awareness and help prevent falls. One more tip, stay active and consider walking to prevent falls and maintain fitness.
For more information on how we can help you in case of a medical event, please contact us at Church Home LifeSpring.