Fall is in the air; leaves are supposed to fall, not people!
The CDC estimates that 3 million older adults are treated in emergency rooms each year for fall related injuries.
Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall; every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall.
In 2015, the total cost of fall injuries was $50 billion. Medicare and Medicaid shouldered 75% of these costs.
We are trying to raise awareness about how to prevent fall related injuries among older adults. Falling is not a normal part of aging. Most falls are preventable. Learn about fall risks and ways to prevent falls among seniors. Below is a checklist for preventing falls.
Senior Fall Checklist:
1. Exercise Regime – Have a regular regime of exercise. It doesn't have to be very aggressive; just enough to help you keep your balance and flexibility. Regular exercise helps reduce the risk.
2. Review Medications – Always review medications that you are prescribed. And to make sure the side effects of the medications are not increasing your risks for falls.
3. Hearing and Vision – Have your hearing and vision checked yearly, as it is key in keeping you safe.
4. Talk to Healthcare provider – Ask your healthcare provider for an assessment of your risks to falls.
5. Improve Lighting – Always make sure hallways and entryways and any areas that are frequently used are well lit. Also make sure appropriate nightlights are also available to access bathrooms in the dark.
6. Secure Rugs – Make sure you secure loose rugs that can be a potential for trips.
7. Grab Bars and Ramps – Make sure appropriate ramps and grab bars are installed in necessary areas as well as in bathrooms near tubs and toilets.
8. Safety First Nonslip Treatment in bathrooms and Tubs - Another way to reduce the risks of falls is calling in Safety First to treat bathroom, shower and tub areas with their nonslip treatment, so that even if the floors or tubs are wet no one can slip and fall anymore.
9. Fall Detection Alert - If you are at a higher risk at is also advisable to wear a fall detection alert so that in case of a fall the emergency services are able to get your information and get to you in time.
10. Reduce Clutter – Make sure to arrange your furniture as well as your stuff in such a way that it is easy to access and reduce the clutter so that the risks falls are reduced.
11. Scheduled Check-ins – If you are living alone it is also a good idea to have scheduled visits from relatives or caregivers to check in on you regularly.
12. Staircase Safety – Staircases should also be well lit so that each step is clearly seen going up and down, especially the first and last step- the places where most falls occur.
13. Stairs including outside should always have handrails installed.
14. Shoes – Shoes should be comfortable and fitting and anti-skid, not loose or flip flops.
These are just a few ways to reduce the risks for falls. This checklist helps seniors feel a little more in control of their safety.