When we are young and vigorous, we don’t think about older days, but the reality is that as we age, our mobility can become compromised. This leads many seniors to fall and injure themselves in their own houses. According to 2008 statistics, nearly 20,000 seniors succumbed that year, from fatal slips and falls. In fact, did you know that more than 33% of adults age 65 and older fall each year?
Senior Falls and Injuries
Injuries result from many of these senior falls. Amongst these injuries are hip fractures, lacerations to the head, or worse, head trauma. As you can see, these injuries can make seniors life very difficult and nearly unbearable, rendering them dependent on a full-time health care provider. Even if some of these older adults do not experience falls, they are well aware of the dangers surrounding senior falls. This fear of falling can limit their mobility, which in turn can weaken their muscles much faster. As you know the expression: “if you don’t use it, you lose it”. Same thing with our muscles; the less we use them, the quicker they weaken.
Safety Measures to prevent Senior Falls
Luckily, there are several safety measures older adults can take, in order to reduce their likelihood of falling around the house.
Stairways: They should see to it that the stairways have handrails on both sides. As they walk up and down the stairs, seniors should lean on these rails, and take enough time between steps. There’s no rush.
Clutter: If a senior lives with you in your home, you should ensure that all clutters are removed from the floor. This means, anything they could potentially trip over should be moved away, including throw rugs, low-rise furniture, especially clutter from walkways
Bathroom: many seniors fall in their bathroom because it can be a slippery place. Ensure that you use non-skid mats or safety treads in the bathtub or shower. Install grabs on each side of the toilet and bathtub so that they can hold on to them. Pool access should be supervised, and pool surrounding should be dry and have enough grabs.
Medical Alert Systems
Medical alert systems are tools that are supplied with a lightweight button that can be pushed to alert a 24-hour medical assistance. As such, a medical alert system provides seniors the ease of mind that in the unfortunate case of a fall, help will be around the corner.
Given the rise in baby boomers who are choosing to live independently, it becomes critical that seniors who live by themselves make use of a medical alert system. As mentioned above, one third of adults fall every year, and a quick response time can be the difference between life and death. Generally speaking, exercising is very important to maintain balance and strength. Being in your 60’s is no excuse to give up on exercising. It can help you tremendously