Fall risk is a very serious threat to the health of the elderly. 1 in 3 adults, ages 65 and older, suffers a fall each year. In addition, almost half of these patients suffer moderate to severe injuries. Injuries affecting seniors from falls can dramatically reduce their ability to lead independent lives. The elderly are hospitalized from fall related injuries 5 times more than they are hospitalized from injuries caused otherwise.
Fall risk statistics offer the opportunity to learn about effective fall prevention techniques, for both patient and caregiver. Utilizing prevention techniques can elongate the time a patient can remain in their home leading an independent life and performing their daily routines.
Bathrooms are the most dangerous area of the home. Installing bath safety products, including grab bars, shower chairs, and raised toilet seats, is a simple and easy way of reducing bath-related falls.
In addition, keeping the body in good all-around health allows your body to respond appropriately to potential hazards and injuries of everyday life. For example, keeping body weight down makes ambulation easier and less painful, while also lowering your risk of other health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Suggested Daily Living Aids used for limiting fall risk include:
Use a walking aid - Products, such as canes and walkers, add stability and support while standing from a seated position. They also offer assistance when walking and can help make navigating stairs easier.
Wear safe shoes - Rubber-soled shoes with little or no heel offer excellent support and floor grip. If you prefer walking around your home in socks, take advantage of tredded slipper socks or rubber soled slippers, to avoid sliding on laminate, tile, or waxed floors.
Ride the rails - Install hand rails through hard-to-navigate areas of your home. Use them for extra support, like a banister. Hand rails and grab bars are also effective for use along stairways.
Try a reacher - Reachers and grabbers make access to items in tight spots a breeze. They are also handy for reaching items on high shelves. This eliminates the risk of pulling muscles from bending, falling off of chairs or stools, and from falling into the area you are retrieving your item from. If you prefer the use of a stool, opt for one with handles to brace yourself if necessary.
Medical alarms - There are many versions of medical alarms on the market today. Some dangle from a patient’s neck, some come in a bracelet form, and others are directly installed into telephones. If you should fall, these products offer you the peace of mind that someone is coming to help you.
Exercise - The more you move, the better your body responds. As we age, conditions like arthritis make movement difficult and painful. There are a variety of low-impact exercise routines that focus on balance, flexibility, and strength. These factors combined help to lower fall-risk and keep your body in good condition. Movement can also help relieve pain caused by arthritis.
Stay active, stay aware, stay safe. For more information on Fall Risk and fall prevention products, browse our online store, or call to speak with one of our knowledgeable Medical Supply Specialists at 1-888-687-4334 for assistance.