Living at home can help maintain a sense of independence and happiness. However, it can also have its risks. Seniors who attempt to move about unassisted can experience falls, and these falls can be dangerous – or even deadly.
According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), more than one-quarter of adults over age 65 fall at least once each year. Falls are also the leading cause of both fatal injuries and nonfatal trauma-related hospital visits for senior adults. In fact, every 11 seconds, a senior is treated in the emergency room for repercussions of a fall.
If you have a senior in your life, try to help them prevent falls and develop a plan of action should a fall occur. Here’s more information to help you better understand the impact of falls, and what you can do to prevent them.
Risks of Senior Falls
The most serious risk for seniors is a fatal or serious injury caused by a fall. Seniors can break bones, hit their heads or even experience severe bleeding. Falls can also be costly if they require medical treatment; the NCOA expects the financial toll of falling to reach $67.7 billion annually by 2020. In addition to the physical impact, the fear of falling can greatly impact the quality of a senior’s life.
Tips for Preventing These Accidents
If you have a senior relative or friend who lives at home, you can help him or her avoid falling. First, ensure that the senior stays healthy and strong. Regular exercise can strengthen muscles and improve balance. Next, be certain the home is clutter-free with no objects on the floor, such as a loose, unsecured rug. You can also install handrails in places that are tricky to navigate.
Next, ensure that all rooms are properly lit to avoid run-ins with sharp corners or unexpected steps. Also, talking to doctors to make sure medications won’t cause dizziness or lightheadedness.
The final option can be to hire a caregiver to assist around the house and help prevent accidents in the first place. Caregivers can help “fall proof” the house or assist with chores and activities that may be more dangerous or present opportunities to fall.
How to Handle a Senior Falling Accident
If a fall occurs, you can develop a plan to ensure your loved one is treated properly – and right away. First, equip that senior with an emergency response service button, which will alert someone that the senior needs help. A senior who cannot get up should keep themselves as warm and comfortable as possible until help arrives. A senior who can get up should roll onto their side, and then kneel and grasp a sturdy object (if possible) to provide leverage.
By preparing a senior’s immediate environment and arming them with knowledge, you can ensure that risks are minimized – and that any injuries are as minor as possible.
Seniors want to continue to maintain their independence as they age by living at home. This can present a dangerous set of circumstances if a slip and fall accident were to occur. Make sure you are taking the proper preventative measures to avoid an unnecessary accident or if it does occur that necessary steps are taken to receive help quickly.
Angel Companions serves all 27 Greater Atlanta counties and helps prevent slip and fall accidents in the home of you or your love ones. We provide part or full-time care and companionship to make sure you stay safe and happy in your home! If you have any questions please use our contact page form or call us today at 770-579-5000!