According to the CDC, fall prevention is important and one out of three people over the age of 65 falls each year, but less than half report their fall to their doctor. Of those people who do go to the doctor, about 700,000 a year are hospitalized, and 95 percent of hip fractures are caused by falling.
Many people think that fall prevention concerns is just a part of aging, but falling in and of itself is not a normal part of the aging process. Often, falls are a symptom of one or more underlying risk factors. As the number of risk factors rises, so does a person’s chance of falling. Risk factors include: muscle weakness; blood pressure that drops when you stand up due to dehydration, certain medications, or diabetes; vision impairment; confusion and feeling disoriented; and loss of balance due to arthritis, lack of exercise or neurological problems.
How To Prevent Falls
To help prevent falls, you can take steps to address some of these underlying causes, as well as make sure your loved one’s home is free of barriers or hazards. Here are a few things you can do:
- Exercise more often. There are good classes and videos geared toward older adults, such as Tai Chi for Seniors.
- Get regular eye exams and keep glasses prescriptions up to date.
- Talk to your doctor about taking vitamin D supplements with calcium to strengthen bones.
- Keep clutter off the floor and stairs.
- Install grab bars in the bathroom shower and beside the toilet.
- Install railings on both sides of stairwells.
- Be aware of side effects of medications.
- Tack down all area rugs and make sure carpet is secure.
Concerns? Contact us, or call (336) 724-1197 to learn more about the services we provide. It might be just what you’re looking for in terms of caring for your loved ones.