Did you know that one out of three people aged 65 and older fall each year? AND… one out of every five falls cause serious injuries such as, hip and wrist fractures and head injuries. These numbers are shocking, but even more alarming is that less than half of seniors who fall report it to their doctor or their families. They may be embarrassed about falling or afraid that they will be forced to give up their independence.
Falls can be a gamechanger for a senior, and the key is to prevent the fall from ever happening. Here are 10 tips to create a fall proof environment:
1. Ditch the throw rugs! They may look great, but they can be a major tripping hazard.
2. Light it up. Many falls occur during a middle of the night trip to the bathroom. This is an easy fix, simply plug in a nightlight.
3. Clear out the clutter. Make sure your pathways are clear and not an obstacle course. Get rid of newspapers and magazines that are stacked up on the floor.
4. Add grab bars in the shower/tub and by the toilet. Most falls happen in the bathroom, be aware of wet areas after showering.
5. Have your vision checked regularly.
6. Be aware of the side effects of medication. Many medications can cause dizziness.
7. Use adaptive equipment such as a reacher/grabber to pick things up. Shoe horns keep you from having to bend over to put your shoes on. There’s also a gadget to help you put your socks on without bending over.
8. If you’re having trouble with balance, use a walking aid, such as a cane or walker.
9. Stay active! It’s so important for all of us to keep moving, especially as we age—stretch, do chair exercises, yoga, tai chi, or simply go for a walk. Keep your mind engaged by taking up a hobby, reading, volunteering, etc.
10. Always bend at your knees. The average head weighs about eight pounds and guess what happens when you bend over? Gravity plus your big noggin can cause you to do an unintended somersault.
For more tips visit my website, www.loriwilliams-seniorservices.com, and listen to Podcast episode number 20, “A Conversation About Fall Prevention With Expert Jacque Archer.” Jacque shares her system for preventing falls, by using the four R’s for your home (reorganize, remodel, rearrange, remove).
Lori Williams is the owner of the senior placement service, Lori Williams-Senior Services, LLC serving Robson Ranch and the Dallas/Fort Worth area. She is also the host of the podcast, Aging in Style with Lori Williams. Lori has a Bachelor in Science, Marketing degree from Louisiana State University and she is a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP). Her business was voted Best of Denton County 2019 and 2020.