Find out how to decrease fall risk in the home and while on the go. Falls in the elderly are dangerous but are preventable with the right planning
Whether at home or on the go, preventing falls in the elderly should be a top priority. Increased fall risk is just another thing that happens when we get older. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in three adults over the age of 65 falls each year and over 2 million people are treated annually in emergency departments for fall-related injuries. Regardless of their frequent occurrence, falls are often preventable. With the right plan, you can help mitigate fall risk in your home and elsewhere.
• Make sure rugs don’t slip. While rugs can add some color to a room, they call also increase fall risk if they’re not put in place correctly. A rug that slips or rolls up can cause falls in the elderly. Throw rugs should be kept in place with the help of two-sided carpet tape. You can also use rubber rug pads to help keep your rugs from bunching up.
• Help your eyes out. One of the main risk factors for falling is an inability to see well. Make sure that there is adequate light in your home so that you can see where you are walking well enough to prevent fall risk. Install brighter bulbs where necessary and add nightlights to bedrooms and hallways. For those that have trouble with stairs in particular, adding colored tape to the edge of each stair can make them easier to navigate.
• Fall-proof the bathroom. The bathroom is one of the most common places for falls to occur. Begin mitigating fall risk by placing non-slip mats in and around the shower. Adding grab rails can give seniors entering and exiting the tub something sturdy to hold onto. A bonus of having these grab rails is that many are portable, meaning that they can be taken with on trips to be used in hotels or others’ bathrooms that lack railings.
• Keep clutter in check. Maintaining a clean home is something you can do to prevent falls among the elderly. Pay special attention to hallways and stairwells for object that can be tripped over and cause falls.
• Put handrails by stairways. Because climbing up and down stairs only gets more difficult as we age, installing handrails to facilitate easier climbs and lower the risk of falling is a great choice for a home improvement project.
Fall risk does not have to be a burden for older adults. With careful and diligent preparation, these simple steps can be taken to reduce risks and help keep seniors safe from the danger of falling.