Fall Prevention in the Elderly - 5 Tips
Falls are one of the most prevalent reasons for injuries and deaths for the elderly. In fact, at least 33% of seniors fall and get injured per year. Falls are also the most common cause for broken hips and trauma to the brain in seniors.
If you have a loved one that is elderly and you want to make sure they are safe, here are a few tips to consider.
Make an Appointment with Your Doctor
Often, instability can come as a side effects of medication. Talk to your doctor (or the primary care physician of your loved one) about the side effects of any medications and whether you should be aware of an increased risk of falling.
Wear the Right Shoes
Wearing the right shoes at any age is important and can prevent falls. Elderly people should stay away from high heels, flip-flops, slippers or shoes that have slick soles. Walking in stocking feet can also cause falls.
Removing Home Hazards
If you, as a senior, or your elderly loved one lives in a house alone, it may be time to start changing some of the layout in order to accommodate limited mobility. Some things in the home that could contribute to the risk of falling include:
- Tables that don't allow enough room to walk by comfortably.
- Carpets or rugs with loose corners. Secure carpets or rugs with double-faced tape, or replace them with non-slip mats.
- Are there boxes, electrical cords, or phone cords in the walkway? If so, these need to be removed too.
- Bath mats. Double check to ensure that you have non-slip measures both inside the shower and outside on the bathroom floor.
Add Some Light
If your house is on the darker side, this can also cause trip and fall accidents. Not only should walkways and hallways be brightly lit, but if you get up in the middle of the night or use the stairs, always turn a light on. If you don't want to turn on a big bright light, you can also keep a flashlight on the bedside table. You may also consider nightlights, or motion-activated lights that illuminate flooring effectively.
Use Assisted Devices
Your doctor might suggest that you use a cane, wheelchair, or even a walker around the house. There are also other assisted devices you can use to stay safe. These devices include:
- Handrails on the steps
- A raised toilet seat with armrests
- Grab bars in the shower, outside of the shower and by the toilet
- A sturdy plastic seat or a bench in the shower and a hand held shower head.
If a slip or fall accident happens outside of the home due to negligent safety practices, it's possible that you're eligible for compensation in order to cover your medical costs. Here at Welmaker, we offer free consultations to identify safety risks and protect your rights.
For a free consultation or to learn about your legal rights contact Welmaker.