Tips to Prevent Falls Among Elderly

As people age, falling becomes an increased safety risk.  We meet with many family’s who loved one’s are unable to return home from rehab due to a bad fall.  At any age, not just the elderly, people can change their environments to reduce their risk of falling.

Here are a few outdoor and indoor safety tips to prevent falls for your loved ones.

OUTDOOR SAFETY TIPS TO PREVENT FALLS

*In nasty weather, use a walker or cane for added stability.

*Wear warm boots with rubber soles for added traction.

*Look carefully at floor surfaces in public buildings.  Many floors are made of highly polished marble or tile that can be very slippery.  If floors have plastic or carpet runners in place, stay on them whenever possible.

*Use a shoulder bag, fanny pack, or backpack to leave hands free.

*Stop at curbs to check their height before stepping up or down.  Be cautious at curbs that have been cut away to allow access for bikes and wheelchairs.  The incline up or down may lead to a fall.

INDOOR SAFETY TIPS TO PREVENT FALLS

*Keep all rooms free from clutter, especially floors.

*Keep floor surfaces smooth but not slippery.

*Wear supportive, low-heeled shoes, even at home.  Avoid having your elderly loved ones walk around in socks, stockings or floppy backless slippers.

*Check that all carpets and area rugs have skid-proof backing or that the rugs are tacked to the floor, including carpeting on stairs.

*Keep electrical and telephone cords and wires out of walkways.

*Be sure that all stairwells are adequately lit and the stairs have handrails on both sides.

*Install grab bars on bathroom walls in addition to tubs, showers, and toilets.

*Use a rubber bath mat in the shower or tub, and provide assistance for those who need it for showering and bathing.

*Place nightlights in hallways and stairwells.  As we age, we make more frequent trips to the restroom during the evening.

*Check prescriptions with your loved one’s doctor and pharmacist.  Make sure the medications do not increase their risk of falling.

The Center of Disease Control reports that one out of every three people aged 65 and older experience a fall every year. Preventing falls indoors and outdoors for the elderly is essential to ensure the best quality of life for your loved one as they age!

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