Preventing Falls Is Important
When you think of your aging loved ones, what do you worry about most? Is it a heart attack or stroke cutting short their life, or perhaps cancer? While these illnesses are very real worries for everyone as they age, it may surprise you to discover that falls are the second leading cause of accidental death in the United States, and 75 percent of these falls occur in the older adult population.
Falls are the single largest cause of injury among seniors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, older adults are hospitalized for fall-related injuries five times more often than they are for injuries from other causes. One-third of older adults who fall, sustain a hip fracture and are hospitalized, die within a year.
Even if a fall does not result in hospitalization, fear of falling can become a major factor in seniors quality of life. Fear leads to inactivity and loss of confidence which in turn produces a cycle of fear, loss of self-confidence and inactivity.
Dr. Roberta A. Newton, Ph.D., Temple University College of Health Professions in Philadelphia has spearheaded efforts to study and research why falls occur and how they can be prevented. Recognizing the importance of preventing falls, Visiting Angels, a national network of franchised non-medical senior homecare agencies, has partnered with Dr. Newton to increase the public awareness and importance of this sometimes overlooked issue.
Here are some easy tips to help minimize the risk of life-altering falls for your loved ones.
Throw rugs can be a tripping hazard. Either remove them or make sure they are securely tacked down.
Add hand rails to all stairs.
Clear clutter from walking paths, and make sure hallways and stairways are well-lit.
Eliminate long extension cords that snake across a room. Plug lamps into outlets near the wall so cords are tucked away.
Add grab bars next to the toilet, tub and shower.
Getting in and out of the tub can be hazardous. In addition to grab bars, make sure the tub has non-skid mats. A tub seat may make showering easier, too.
Trade in floppy slippers for well-fitting slippers with non-skid soles. Also, avoid night clothing that drags on the ground.
By following the tips you can eliminate the risk of falls and maintain your quality of life.
Courtesy of ARA Content
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