Tips To Help The Elderly Prevent Falls That Can Injure, Even Kill
Millions of elderly Americans suffer from slip and fall accidents each year. It is estimated that 1 in 3 elderly adults over the age of 65 experiences a fall each year, in which many are seriously injured, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Slip and fall injuries at this age can range from cuts and bruises to concussions and broken bones. Family members who are concerned about their aging relatives hurting themselves can take steps to make their environments safer.
KEEP THE HOME CLUTTER-FREE
One of the most common causes of senior slip and fall accidents is having clutter and non-fixed objects on the floor. Pick up throw rugs and watch for bumps or uneven places in the flooring that could cause tripping. Loose objects and even dust and dirt can cause an elderly person to slip.
Keep pathways clear and move furniture so there are wide, walkable paths throughout the home. Stairways should always be brightly lit and clutter-free, with strong handrails for support.
UPGRADE THE BATHROOMS
Many slip and fall accidents take place in the bathroom, where elderly adults come in contact with hard surfaces that can quickly become slippery. Family members can make the bathroom slip-proof by installing grab bars by the toilet, shower, and tub.
They can also bring in a shower chair, install a handheld showerhead and treat shower or tub surfaces with a non-slip coating. If seniors are really struggling in the bathroom, family members can hire a home health aide to assist with bathing and grooming.
STAY PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY FIT
When elderly people struggle with poor eyesight, weakened muscles, and poor balance, they are more likely to have a slip and fall accident. Family members can make sure their aging loved one has proper eyewear, eats nutritious meals and engages in regular activity to build strength and balance.
Seniors should wear well-fitting footwear and appropriately tailored clothing instead of loose slippers and long hems of dressing gowns and pajama bottoms. They should also use devices like canes and walkers if they are unstable on their feet.