The month of September is National Fall Prevention Month. Falls are the leading cause of death in Americans aged 65 or older. Falls have become an epidemic and are the cause of 40 percent of people moving into a nursing home. Senior fall protection
Falls are the leading cause of emergency visits for injuries in older adults. Falls often cause injuries such as fatal head injuries and hip fractures. Almost half of the seniors that suffer from these injuries do not return to independent living.
For the seniors that experience a fall, it is common for them to feel anxiety about falling again. The family members of someone who has taken a fall may find themselves more concerned and guarded about the fall itself.
Senior safety may become a priority if it was not prior to a fall. Senior fall protection is worth an investment of time and money so you can protect yourself and your loved ones.
There are several different options when it comes to senior safety. You can remodel or reorganize your home or work on certain exercises that will improve your strength and balance.
The following exercises are simple and can help reduce your risk of falling:
The following are ways to make your home safer:
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), effective fall prevention programs aim to reduce the number of people who fall, the rate of falls, and the severity of injury should a fall occur. These programs include a range of components to identify and modify risk for older individuals.
Programs may include screenings for fall risk within living environments, a home assessment and environmental modification for those with known risk factors or a history of falling, and the prescription of appropriate assistive devices to address physical and sensory impairments.
There are clinical interventions to identify risk factors, such as medication review and modification, treatment of low blood pressure, vitamin D and calcium supplementation, and treatment of correctable visual impairment. Group programs may incorporate fall prevention education, tai chi-type exercises, or dynamic balance and strength training.
Educating yourself about the risks is only the first step in preventing yourself or loved ones from taking a life-altering fall. The next step is to take necessary action to reduce the risks, while being well prepared in the event of a fall.
Many falls can be avoided. When we are out in public, we instinctively keep watch for uneven or slick surfaces that could catch our loved ones off guard. But the risk of falling can be even higher at home because it is easier to take for granted more familiar spaces. This means it is especially important to make our homes as safe as possible.
In addition to making structural improvements around the home, regular physical activity, and exercise combining weight training, muscle strengthening, and balance improvement will help reduce the risk of falls for older adults.
While most falls can be avoided, some cannot. It is crucial to be prepared either way. Do your research and update your house for senior fall prevention and ready yourself in the case of an unavoidable fall.