Did you know that every 11 seconds, an Older American is admitted to the hospital due to a fall? It’s the number-one cause of injury for those older than 65, and can lead to hip fractures, traumatic brain injuries and broken bones. Furthermore, it carries a hefty price tag—the CDC estimates that the average cost of treating a fall runs around $30,000.
However, with a few preventative measures, you can cut back on the risk of your loved one experiencing a fall. We would like to share with you the following tips:
Many Older Americans stop exercising because they experience a decrease in their mobility through sarcopenia, or age-related muscle loss. Low-impact exercise can help restore some mobility, which is key in fall prevention. Many gyms and senior centers also offer balance classes, which can help re-train the muscles responsible for stability.
Consult your doctor about whether your medications put you at risk.
A study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that drug use among older adults has increased in the past few decades. That means more Older Americans are experiencing pharmaceutical side-effects that can lead to a fall, such as dizziness and loss of balance. Some over-the-counter sleep aids are especially notorious for this, so consult your doctor if you have trouble sleeping at night. Sleep disorders can be caused by a number of factors, including sleep apnea.
Practice fall prevention at home.
Make sure there aren’t any objects on the floor that you can trip on, and that your rooms are well-lit. The bathroom is one of the top culprits when it comes to falls among Older Americans. Equip your home with the proper bath safety products. Things such as bath mats and grab bars can go far in preventing you from taking a tumble.
Have your vision checked regularly.
As we age, less light enters our retina, making obstacles, tripping hazards and contrasting edges harder to see. If you do wear glasses, make sure that your prescription is up-to-date. Avoid tint-changing lenses, as these take a while to adjust to your environment and can pose additional tripping hazards.
Choice Health Management Services is dedicated to helping residents remain safe and healthy as they age. Please reach out to us if you have any questions about how we keep our residents safe and healthy!