Falls are one of the most common causes for serious injuries among older people. Those over 65 have a 1 in 3 chance of becoming the victim of a fall, according to the National Council on Aging. The best way to avoid injury is to take preventative action. Here is a look at some of the key steps you can take to protect yourself or a loved one from becoming a statistic.
The majority of falls occur in and around the home. Many of the causes are preventable. For example, the bathroom is a common location for falls, so install grab bars next to the toilet and around the bathtub. Also, ensure that stairways have a railing on both sides, not just one side. Take up any small rugs that are likely to slip out of position as you walk. Avoid leaving any small items you might trip over, such as papers or books, on the floor.
Outside the Home
Even though most falls occur around the house, the elderly are susceptible to falls when they are away from home as well. To keep the chances of this occurring to a minimum. take the following steps. Always wear shoes with relatively thin, non-skid soles. They give you excellent stability and balance as you are out and about. Also, be particularly alert when you are on a slippery surface and when you step off curbs.
One of the less obvious reasons for falls in elderly people involves medications. Although prescription drugs help older people stay healthy, they sometimes have side effects, such as dizziness or drowsiness. Either of these adverse reactions can lead to a fall. Take your medications exactly as directed and notify your health care provider at once if you notice any bad reactions.
One of the best ways to prevent falls is to have elder home care services assist you with your daily activities. For instance, the worker can help you with bathing and going to the toilet, which will reduce any chance of falling in the bathroom. Also, the home care provider can do your grocery shopping and run other errands, while you stay safe at home in your favorite chair. The provider can also watch for any signs that your prescriptions are making you drowsy or dizzy.
Taking the above steps will go a long way toward preventing any serious falls. For more information about engaging the services of a home health care worker, contact a home health care agency.