Falls are even more common than most people realize, and the effects can be lasting. In fact, one in every four older adults fall every year. Falls are one of the leading causes of injuries for individuals over the age of 65. In the blink of an eye, a fall can cause major injuries including hip fractures, broken bones and even concussions.
Having an understanding about the dangers of falling is not enough; you also need to take steps to reduce the risk of a fall and prevent injury. Luckily, there are some easy ways to help prevent falls and increase overall mobility.
5 Ways to Prevent Falls at Home
If you or your loved one lives alone, there are many hazards within the home that can contribute to the likelihood of a fall happening. With just a few simple home improvements, reduce the risk of falls and maintain independence for longer.
- Reduce Clutter – Take time to organize your house, get rid of items that are no longer necessary and keep hallways and stairs clear.
- Remove Tripping Hazards – Loose cords, slippery carpets, or broken handrails can all cause falls in the home. By tacking down lamp cords, removing throw rugs, and repairing any loose boards, broken handrails or other areas of concern, you can move about more freely in your home.
- Install Grab Bars and Handrails – By installing grab bars in the shower and making sure handrails are easily accessible near all stairs, you can move around more confidently and ensure the necessary support is there when needed.
- Improve Lighting – Inadequate lighting in a home can be a major hazard, especially around stairs and hallways. Make sure lighting uses bright light bulbs and that all staircases have lights to guide the way. Night lights are a good idea leading to the bathroom for use during the night.
- Transition to One-Level Living – If the home has multiple floors, it might be a good time to start the conversation about moving into a one-level apartment or home. Even with necessary precautions in place, stairs pose a fall risk for aging individuals.
5 Ways to Prevent Falls Outside the Home
As we age, it becomes even more important to get exercise and fresh air on a regular basis. However, it’s more difficult to control and prevent falls outside the home than it is inside. Luckily, there are some ways you can proactively do everything in your power to still live life to the fullest while also staying safe.
- Wear the Correct Shoes – Always choose shoes that are supportive, comfortable and have rubber soles. This will help on uneven terrain and provide valuable support.
- Walk on Grass – Don’t be afraid to walk on the grass if the sidewalk is uneven, wet or damaged.
- Wear Glasses – Make sure when going for walks, you are wearing prescription glasses or sunglasses to help prevent issues with sun glare.
- Invest in a Walker – If having the additional support of a cane or walker can prevent injury, it is well it to use this helpful assistive device.
- Be Aware of Surroundings – It’s easy to get caught up in the scenery, but it’s important to pay close attention to where you’re walking. Look for potholes, uneven sidewalk and the height of curbs.
Find the Right Level of Care for Your Loved One at Heritage Senior Living
By taking a person-centered approach to care, we are able to help you or your loved one meet overall health and wellness goals. At Heritage Senior Living, we offer full-time licensed nurses and a 24/7 staff to ensure residents receive the ongoing care and support they need to thrive. We encourage you to learn more about our home-like, low-maintenance living options. Contact us today to learn more about our senior living options and to schedule a tour.