When an elderly person falls it is much more dangerous than when a young adult or child falls.
Unlike young people, seniors’ bodies simply aren’t able to withstand and recover from the trauma. These falls can result in lacerations, hip fractures, and head traumas, among other injuries. And in many cases, the initial injury isn’t the cause of death; the associated problems are to blame.
Understanding that this risk is prevent is important. Take the following steps to reduce the likelihood of a dangerous fall to protect the elders in your home:
- Exercise regularly. Leg strength and balance are crucial, so exercises like walking, weight-lifting, and Tai Chi are very beneficial. Explore exercises that will strengthen your bones, improve coordination, and increase endurance.
- Test your vision. If you haven’t been to the optometrist lately, stop in soon to have your eyes evaluated. Weak eyesight and blurry vision can cause stumbles and falls
- Check your medications. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medications, so that they can identify any prescriptions or over-the-counter drugs that cause dizziness or drowsiness. Find alternatives to these medications if possible. Also, always take your medications as prescribed.
- Evaluate your environment. Reduce your home’s clutter to prevent stumbles. Remove (or fix) any rugs that might slip or cause trips. Add grab bars in the bathroom, beside the tub and toilet. Add railings to both sides of stairways. And finally, add a non-skid bath mat to your shower.
- Choose your shoes wisely. Your shoes should be supportive, low-heeled, and provide good friction. Avoid walking around your house in socks, stockings, or slippery slippers.
- Turn on the lights. All stairwells should be adequately lit, but it’s also important to turn on lights when you get up in the middle of the night. Avoid “feeling your way” through the dark, as you could trip over a loose electrical cord, a fallen object, or a thick rug.