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As we age and enter into our senior years the home can become a dangerous place for many seniors. Recent statistics from the National Safety Council have shown that rate of fatal falls for those in the 65+ age group has risen by an alarming 112% since 1999, accounting for more 21,600 deaths in 2010. As a result of the aging process, many seniors are faced with weakened muscles, brittle bones, limited dexterity, and impaired vision during their elderly years, which leaves them at a higher risk for falls. Taking steps to reduce one’s fall risk goes a long way towards improving safety and can help seniors live longer, more active, and more independent lives. Like Deborah Hersman, NSC president and CEO said in a June 4th news release, “identifying potential fall hazards and making changes to improve your strength, balance and vision can help reduce your risk of a fall at any age.”
Tips for Reducing Fall Risks:
-- Use our Home Safety Assessment guide to help identify and rectify common fall hazards around the house, like removing tripping hazards such as cluttered walkways, throw rugs, etc.
-- Remain as active as you can. As we age it is important to maintain strength, keep the joints moving, and exercise to improve balance and stability.
-- Ensure that your medications are properly managed and be aware of any side effects that they might have. Using a 7-day pill box is a great way to help you manage your medications.
-- Take steps to maintain your eyesight and routinely get your vision checked. Remember that poor vision increases fall risks.
-- Keep frequently used items in close reach and get a reacher to help make it easier and safer to get items that are on the ground or a heavy duty step stool to help get items that are just out of your reach.
-- Install grab bars next to the toilet, in the shower, near your favorite chair, or anywhere else that you might need something to grab onto for extra balance and stability.
-- Make sure the tub/shower is lined with a non-slip mat
-- Use bed safety rails to help prevent bedside falls by providing extra support and leverage while getting in and out of bed
-- Don’t be embarrassed or too stubborn to admit that it might be time to consider looking into getting a mobility aid (like a cane or walker) to provide a little extra assistance to help you get around more safely.
-- Wear shoes with good support and traction or wear inexpensive non-slip slippers around the house.
In addition to being a major cause of accidental deaths among seniors, falls can cause a variety of injuries that can inhibit one’s ability to lead and active and independent life and diminish overall quality of life. Thankfully, there are a variety of fall prevention products that can be used to help reduce the risk of falling. Mountainside Medical Equipment offers a wide selection of daily living aids and fall prevention products for helping improve the safety of the home, reducing the risk of falls, and helping prevent serious injuries.