Fall Prevention Program and Tips
Fall prevention for seniors can improve quality of life and prevent injury
The Center For Disease Control and Prevention states that falls are the leading cause of injury among many age groups in the United States, accounting for twice as many injuries as other causes. People 55 and over are at greater fall risk than other age groups. In 2012, medical treatment as a result of falls accounted for $30 billion in medical costs. Fall prevention should be a part of every home’s safety plan, and institutions that care for older people should have an effective fall prevention program in effect at all times to protect their residents.
Fall Prevention at Home
To reduce the risk of falls prevention must be an everyday concern. Furniture should not be arranged or re-arranged to block traffic paths. Electrical wires should not be left out in the open, causing tripping hazards. Hallways or stairways should have adequate lighting to reduce fall risk. Sideways and driveways may have cracks or uneven areas. In addition, snow and ice accumulations may cause additional hazards. These conditions can set the stage for serious injuries. The whole family should be encouraged to think about fall prevention at home to prevent these injuries.
Fall Prevention in Nursing Homes
In 2012, 24,000 over the age of 65 died as a result of a fall. Because people are living longer, even in a debilitated condition, falls in nursing homes and other facilities has become of critical importance. Facilities should have an ongoing fall prevention program that takes particular care with lighting for those with poor vision. Special types of lighting, such as floor lights that turn on when a resident gets out of bed can reduce the rate of falls dramatically. High-visibility strips on stairways that assist the elderly can also help to reduce the risk of falls. Energy absorbing flooring in bathrooms is another innovation that can help with fall prevention. Because of the increased vulnerability of serious consequences for these residents, fall prevention in nursing homes should be of paramount importance.
Fall Prevention Tips
To reduce the risk for falls prevention should take practical forms, such as:
- Store items within easy reach so that you do not have to stretch or climb to have access to them.
- Ensure that all electrical cords are kept out of the way to prevent a tripping hazard.
- Make sure that all stairways have secure handrails.
- Use non-skid mats in bathroom and kitchen or wherever water use could create a slipping hazard.
- Wipe up floor spills immediately.
- Have children put away toys after use to prevent tripping hazards.
- Wear well-fitting shoes that hold well to your feet.
- Manage your health problems carefully and be aware of side effects from medications, such as dizziness or muscle weakness.
- If you have foot problems, visit your doctor regularly to get treatment to ensure that you can avoid further injuries from falls and other accidents.
These fall prevention tips will help to reduce the number of injuries and provide a safe environment for both residents and guests.