Senior Aging Spotlight
Reducing your fall risk!
The CDC reports that each year 3 million people visit the Emergency room due to fall injuries and that 1 in every 5 falls results in a serious injury such as broken bones and head injury. As we age the risk of injury due to falling increases, 95% of hip fractures in the elderly are caused by falls. The good news is most falls are preventable if you understand your risk factors. Here are 3 things to evaluate;
1. Your medications. Some medications may interact with each other and increase your risk of falls. Always bring your medications or a thorough list with you to your doctor appointment and ask your physician to review them for any that may increase your risk of falls.
2. Inactivity. Staying active as we age supports our muscle and bone health. Long periods of inactivity can impact your balance and strength and lead to falls. Even if you are unable to exercise, stand and walk as often as you can. If you have noticed that you are not as active as you once were, talk to your physician about exercise you can do at home or if you may need a therapy consultation.
3. Fall hazards at home. Have a loved one walk through your home and look for things such as rugs that are not secured to the floor or move easily when stepped on, boxes or other obstacles in your normal path, poor lighting and loose handrails. Here are a few home safety tips, adhere rugs in bathrooms with nonskid backing or double-sided tape or remove them all together. Rearrange furniture for a broader clear walking path. Install grab bars in restrooms and stairs most often used. Wear non-skid socks or shoes in your home. Use a non-skid bathmat for showering or consider a shower seat. Place a lamp in close reach to the bed. Place a nightlight to light your path from the bedroom to bathroom.
While falls are not all together avoidable, you can take measures to reduce your risk of falling and becoming injured. Talk to your healthcare professional for more information. Forsyth has a senior resource through YourHome Senior Care as well, offering clinical and home safety assessments to help you remain home and independent as long as possible.
Diana Wilks, CNHA, FACHCA, CDP and Owner of YourHome Senior Care
Summer Vinson, RB BSN and Lead Clinician at YourHome Senior Care