Reducing the Threat of Falls in Senior Homes

at a senior home

There are growing populations of retired seniors in Phoenix, Arizona. The state is a popular destination for seniors for assisted or independent living accommodations. Of course, almost everyone would prefer to be independent for as long as possible, but the risk of accidents — especially falls — can be dangerous for seniors living on their own.

More than 1-in-3 Chance of Falling

Every year, 35 percent of seniors will suffer a fall that will require emergency treatment. If you’re over the age of 80, that percentage goes up to 50. For seniors, a fall can lead to serious injuries such as whiplashes and hip fractures or even death.  More than 10,000 American seniors die from fall-related injuries, and most of those accidents could have been preventable. Once you’ve sustained a fall-related injury, your chances of suffering from another fall in the next 6 months go up to 66 percent. Even if you don’t receive any serious injury from a fall, merely being slammed to the ground can be problematic. Close to 50 percent of seniors have trouble getting up or calling for help immediately after suffering a fall. Even a short period lying on the floor can be very uncomfortable — even alarming — especially if you have mobility issues.

Preventing Falls

Visibility is essential for preventing falls. Being able to see allows you to avoid obstacles and maintain sure footing. Darkness robs you of visibility and can also be disorienting. Well-lit corridors during the nights and motion-detecting lights can make your trips around the house safer. Do away with loose carpets or rugs that can make you slip or entangle your cane or walker, and get rid of trinkets or obstacles that can make you slip or trip. Bathrooms are notorious locations for accidents, accounting for 80 percent of falls suffered by seniors at home. Place a few railings in strategic locations, especially near the toilet. A well-placed handhold can take the stress off your knees, allowing you to sit and stand with relative ease and safety. Soapy water and slippery tiles make showers quite risky. Using a bathtub is even riskier and you’ll probably have problems getting in and out of one without assistance. Do away with showers and tubs and opt for walk-in bathtubs or tubs specifically designed for seniors and people with mobility issues. They allow you to soak for a bath in a sitting position, making access to the tubs a lot easier and safer.

Just in Case

senior with nurse

Sometimes the unavoidable happens and you need to call for help or alert emergency services. A worn medical alert system can do exactly that: alerting a designated person or immediately calling emergency services. These devices can be activated with a push of a button and most of them come with fall-detection systems that automatically sends alerts once you’ve fallen. You can also use your medical alert system in other emergency situations like fires or burglaries.

A single fall can trigger the end of your independence. Fortunately, most falls are preventable. Take falls seriously and make changes to make your home a little bit safer.

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