Studies show that falls are a leading cause of fatal injury among older adults. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that the most common causes of non-fatal trauma hospital admissions are that of Falls by elderly.
According to the NCOA Older adults are treated in the emergency room approximately every 11 seconds for fall related injuries.
Here a few signs that your loved one may be a fall risk:
Does your love one take medication that makes them feel lightheaded or sometimes sleepy? Side effects from medications can increase the risk of falls.
Does your love one sometimes lose feeling in their feet or complain of numbness in their legs? Not having full feeling of your feet or legs can cause stumbles and may lead to falls.
Does your loved one have difficulty stepping up or down off curbs or small steps?
This decrease mobility can be a sign of weakness in their leg muscles which can then lead to falls.
Does your love one hold on to chairs or furniture when getting up or walking around the house? These are signs of poor balance and weakening leg muscles and can lead to falls.
In addition too many other signs these are basic telltale signs that your loved one may be at a higher fall risk. It is important that once you begin to see the signs it is important that you take the time and begin to find ways to reduce this risk as much as possible.
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Here are some steps that can be taken to help reduce the chances of falls:
- Clear all pathways, walkways, hallways, and stairs from all clutter and debris.
- Get rid of throw rugs let may slide around or which have corners that turn up, these can cause falls if your love one trips them.
- Purchase nonslip mats and place them in bathrooms and kitchens or any area that has the potential of getting wet.
- Install handrails on both sides of stairs and grab bars in bathtubs and showers. also place grab bars around toilets, these are known areas that have a fall risk for the elderly.
- Ensuring that the toilet height is adequate for your loved one is important. If the toilet is too low this may cause a fall. One solution to this issue is to purchase a raised toilet seat that can be added to your already existing toilet, this will help and alleviate the need to replace the entire commode.
- Ensure that your stairs are equipped with anti-slip tape on the edges.
- Rearrange items in shelves move them down to a lower level to ensure they’re accessible without the need of a step-stool or chair.
- Ensure there is adequate lighting throughout the home. Install wireless motion sensor lights that automatically turn on, will allow your loved one to see where they’re going at night especially in areas such as the bathroom or kitchen.
In addition to making these adjustments it is also good to look into different Items such as canes or walkers. This will assist your love one to maintain their balance but most importantly their independence.