Fall prevention and awareness is a topic that becomes more essential as we age. Statistics show that 1 in 3 individuals over the age of 65 living independently fall each year. This number increases from 1 to 2 by the time we reach the age of 80.
Fall related injuries can be serious enough to result in hospitalization and at times, even death. In addition, falls can lead to decreased mobility and independence which can seriously interfere with an individual’s quality of life. Not only does the risk of falling increase with age, statistics indicate that the risk is greater for women than men.
There are many simple and easy ways to reduce your risk of falls. Some of the most basic include the following:
Talk to your physician. Discuss your medications, any history of previous falls, and any health conditions that may put you at a higher risk for falls.
Wear sensible shoes. Simply put, this means sturdy shoes with nonskid soles. Avoid wearing heels if you are a woman and choose shoes that tie over slip-on shoes.
Exercise. Physical activity has many health benefits including reducing your risk for falls. Simple walking or water activities are often favorite choices for people, as they get older. Please avoid any type of activity that you feel may cause you to fall.
Remove household hazards. This includes things like boxes, newspapers, electrical cords, or other items that may be in your path. Rearranging furniture in high traffic areas can also be helpful to reduce clutter and allow you more room to safely and easily navigate your living areas. It is important to secure loose rugs or remove them altogether as they can easily be tripped over and lead to a fall. Another idea that many people find helpful is to store all of your regularly used items in a way that is safe and easy for you to reach.
Make sure there is adequate lighting. Replace burned out light bulbs, utilize floor lamps and table lamps, and turn lights on when you enter a room to ensure that you can see adequately.
Last but not least, use assistive devices as needed. These can include hand rails for stairways, non-slip tread for bare steps, use a raised toilet seat or one with rails, and utilize grab bars in your shower and/or tub.
Falls can be catastrophic but can be reduced or even avoided with a few simple adjustments. The goal is to focus on maintaining your independence and quality of life while remaining safe at the same time.
For further information, please contact Excell Private Care Services at 405-639-3939.