Communicating with caregivers and nurses, I often emphasize the importance of fall prevention for the elderly. Falls are way more dangerous than you might think.
According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, over 800,000 patients are hospitalized each year as a result of a fall injury, most commonly a hip fracture or a head injury.
In addition to using an emergency alert system, you can consider these five fall prevention strategies:
- Inspire seniors to keep moving. It can be any gentle exercise, such as walking, water workouts, or tai chi. An active lifestyle reduces the risk of falls by improving balance, strength, flexibility, and coordination.
- Ask them to wear sensible shoes. Properly fitting, flat shoes with slip-resistant soles minimize the risk of falling and reduce joint pain.
- Remove room/home hazards, such as electrical cords, boxes, or plant stands from walkways; remove loose rugs and use non-slip mats in the bathroom.
- Keep the room brightly lit to avoid stumbling over different objects.
- Purchase assistive devices, such as non-slip treads for bare-wood steps, a toilet seat with armrests, a sturdy plastic seat for the shower or tub, and more.
And remember: proper care can prolong life.