Elderly Slip and Fall Prevention Tips Older Adults Should Know
Every year, approximately one in three adults aged 65 or older falls, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). Many of these falls cause long-term injury. In fact, 2 million older adults visit the emergency room each year for a fall-related injury, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
For older adults, the impact of a slip and fall accident can be very damaging on their health and independence. Hip fractures and head injuries are not uncommon. If you are an older adult concerned with falling, or if you want to help your aging loves ones stay safe, read over the following elderly slip and fall prevention tips and start putting them into action.
Medication, supplements, and certain health conditions can increase the risk of falling, and reviewing medication is one of the most often overlooked elderly slip and fall prevention tips. For instance, inner ear infections or certain vision problems can pose a falling hazard. In some instances, drug interaction can cause symptoms that increase the risk.
Visit your doctor periodically to check any symptoms you may be having, as well as review your prescriptions to determine if any of them might increase your risk of falling.
Your doctor may decide to change or wean you off of prescriptions that affect you in negative ways.
- Make you nauseous
- Affect your equilibrium and balance
- Cause sleepiness or fogginess
If you begin experiencing symptoms such as dizziness, muscle weakness, joint pain, or numbness when walking, see your doctor for an assessment. These symptoms may increase the risk of falling.
Creating a Safer Environment
You can reduce the risk of falling by eliminating hazards in the environment. Most know that picking up loose items from the floor can keep people from tripping over them, but these elderly slip and fall prevention tips take it a little farther.
- Ensure there is sufficient lighting. Install more lights if need be, and increase the wattage of the bulbs to improve the lighting, up to manufacturer recommendations.
- Remove any obstacles that may pose a threat. There should be no boxes, electrical cords, or chairs in the way. All the pathways should be clear. Also remove any coffee tables, end tables, and plant stands that pose a tripping hazard.
- Make sure there are no loose rugs, carpeting, or floorboards. Either repair or remove them.
- Always wear good, sturdy shoes with a sole that grips. Going barefoot and wearing slippers might cause you to slip and fall.
- Put non-skid mats in the bathtub, directly outside of the bathtub, and in front of the kitchen sink.
- Make sure the stairways are well lit, in good repair, and have handrails.
- Install assistive devices such as armrests around the toilet and grip bars in the shower. Likewise, a shower seat and handheld shower nozzle can allow older adults to shower safely while seated.
Improving Fitness for Fall Prevention
Exercise can help prevent falls in older adults because it can improve their balance, flexibility, and strength. Plus, regular strength training exercise can slow bone loss and help defend against fractures, according to the NSC.
Older adults should get their doctor’s approval before beginning an exercise program. Once cleared, you can begin a walking program or see a certified fitness professional who specializes in senior fitness to help you get started. You may be able to find senior citizen group fitness classes at a local gym or senior center. Popular exercise options for older adults are listed below.
- Silver Sneakers
- Water aerobics
- Tai chi
- Low impact aerobics
- Seated yoga
Call an Attorney for Counsel after a Slip and Fall Accident
You can take these elderly slip and fall prevention tips in your own home, but in some cases another party’s negligence leads to an accident. If your loved one was seriously hurt in fall accident on another party’s premises, contact an attorney to discuss the legal options.
For help in Peachtree City or the surrounding areas, call attorney Jason Schultz for a consultation. Contact us today at 404-474-0804 to schedule your free case evaluation.