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Helping Prevent Falls in the Home

Falls are the leading cause of injuries for seniors, with the likelihood of experiencing a fall increasing from age 65 and older. In fact, one in four older adults suffer a fall each year, and one in five of these falls causes a serious injury according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Falls can be fatal – the number of deaths from falls has increased consistently from 2007 to 2016, so fall prevention at home can both save lives and enhance quality of life

How to prevent falls at home

There are several things that you can do to enhance the functionality of your home to make it a safer space.

Complete this checklist to help prevent falls:

Reduce the Risks of Falls in Your Home

  • Keep pathways cleared of clutter and tripping hazards
  • Ensure that stairs have secure rails to assist with mobility
  • Add non-slip mats to slipper surfaces, especially in the bathroom
  • Make sure the home is well lit
  • Install grab bars where appropriate e.g. in the tub/shower and near the toilet
  • Exercise caution when you move about the house, moving too quickly could result in a fall

Fall prevention also extends to personal health. Talk to someone about your mobility concerns for more specific recommendations, but in the meantime, you can do the following:

Health-Related Fall Prevention

  • Make sure eye checkups are consistent
  • Consider physical therapy for balance or mobility problems
  • Consider adding aids like a cane or walker with the help of a medical professional
  • Make sure medicines are reviewed by a doctor or pharmacist for negative interactions that could cause dizziness or balance issues
  • Invest in a medical alert system so immediate help can be summoned in case of a fall

What to do after a fall

If you do experience a fall and find that you cannot get up after checking for injuries, get help. Your medical alert device, panic button or cellphone are your best options if you’re alone in the home.

And once you’ve been cleared by your doctor, here are some thoughts to help you as you recover:

  • Fix the cause: If anything caused the fall like a rug, piece of furniture or broken step, these should be adjusted, moved or fixed. If your fall was caused by dizziness or another health issue, talk to your doctor to prevent this from happening again in the future.
  • Keep moving: Fear of falling again might keep you from moving around regularly, but according to the CDC, cutting down on activity can actually increase your chances of falling because of increased weakness.
  • Check in regularly: Attend your follow-up medical appointments to make sure your healing goes smoothly.

If falling is a regular occurrence, additional steps may need to be taken, such as using a medical alert system or in-home help or assisted care.

To find out how Guardian can assist you in case of a fall or other medical emergency in the home, call 888-857-5028 or request information and a Guardian representative will contact you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018-06-21T14:19:04+00:00 Health & Safety, Home & Family|

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