With summer just around the corner and memories of snow and ice fading each time the temperature rises, it’s easy to assume that the season of falls is over. Sadly, falls aren’t limited to the winter and they are one of the leading causes of death and injury in seniors.
A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report reveals that the number of senior fall fatalities has doubled since 2000. The report noted that falling was thought to be the cause of death in 55% of the 90,000 unintentional injury fatalities experienced by seniors.
Falls can be triggered by a medical condition, like a heart attack, or they can be accidental, such as slipping on the stairs. Though you can’t eliminate the possibility of falls from life, seniors can take steps to prevent falls. The CDC recommends four key methods: Exercise, Medication Monitoring, Vision Testing, and “Fall-Proofing” the Home.
Most importantly, seniors need to get their exercise. Walking, strength training and any other form of physical exertion helps to cultivate and maintain balance. Seniors who are active are less likely to fall and less likely to be injured by minor falls.
Medications can also affect balance. If you’re taking a new medication, be sure to speak with your doctor about how the medication will affect you and how it will interact with other medications you are on.
Vision is a key to keeping seniors safe. Making sure they can see obstacles and navigate obstructions clearly is an essential part of fall prevention. Seniors should get their eyes checked at least once a year to ensure their vision is at its best.
Finally, fall-proofing your home is the easiest way to ensure that you are safe. Take a day to look around and identify potential problem areas. Are their loose electrical cords on the floor that could snag your feet? Is your home well lit? Is there clutter near the stairs that could cause a fall? Be sure to eliminate problems to make yourself safer at home.
If you need help with fall prevention, feel free to call the experts. Capital City Nurses can help you in several ways. Our Short and Sweet visits can be used to evaluate your medications and the safety of your home. We can help you create an environment that is safe. Our Daughter Down the Street service can help you improve your balance through exercise. Our trained caregivers will take you on errands or to appointments to keep you busy and active all day.
Whether there’s ice on the ground, or a summer breeze blowing by, falls don’t have a season. Take steps to prevent falls so that you can enjoy your senior years without injury.