According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number one cause of injury-related deaths among elderly Americans is falling. In winter, we often think of falling on snow and ice, and that’s very important to watch out for. However, most injury-causing falls happen to seniors inside their own homes, so here are 5 ways to help avoid falls for seniors.
1. Reduce Home Hazards
- Install handrails in tubs & around the toilet, and an elevated toilet seat.
- Make sure your home is properly lit, especially in doorways, stairways, and halls.
- Eliminate throw rugs, magazine holders, floor lamps, or other loose items on the floor.
- Install non-slip treads in tubs, on stairs, and in entryways.
- Have your home inspected by a safety professional.
2. Get Regular Exercise
- Ask your doctor for a list of exercises appropriate for your age and condition.
- Get a friend or two to join you at a regular time each week to help you stay on course.
- Find a variety of activities you can enjoy that also allow you to get appropriate exercise.
3. Get Regular Eye Exams
- The CDC recommends one eye exam per year minimum.
- Many seniors suffer from a lack of depth perception, a major cause of falling.
4. Review Medications
- Ask your doctor if you have medications which may cause dizziness.
- Always take a list of all your medications to your doctor’s appointments.
- Always have prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy to avoid confusion.
5. Be Wise
- Only do what you are comfortable doing.
- Always use your cane, walker, or other assistive equipment, even when you might not “need” it.
- Before doing anything out of the ordinary, think carefully about any falling hazards.
- Ask for help with any task that makes you feel unsteady.
And finally, though most falls happen inside, please be careful on the ice and snow this winter. We have lots of winter weather still to come!
If you or a loved one have a chronic or terminal condition that may require palliative or hospice care, please call 417-890-5533 and speak with one of our caring, trained staff. At Seasons Hospice in Springfield, MO, we are here to answer all your questions and help you choose the best possible care.