According to the Area Agency on Aging 1-B, falls are the leading cause of injury related deaths among seniors.
For older adults, safety in their homes is a number one concern. Older adults are hospitalized for fall-related injuries five times more often than they are for injuries from other causes and falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths among seniors 65 and older. Older adults are more likely to fall due to changes in vision, less flexibility and muscle strength and disturbed sleep patterns.
To help seniors create safer environments that allow them to remain living in their homes for as long as possible, the Area Agency on Aging 1-B offers the following fall prevention tips.
- Many seniors slip on throw rugs so be sure to use rugs that have a non-skid backing or use double sided tape to stop rugs from slipping.
- Place reflective non-skid tape on stairs, which will help an older adult to see the steps more clearly.
- Install grab bars in showers, around tubs or near the toilet, to prevent slipping as soap and towel holders are not designed for that purpose and can easily break under an adult’s weight.
- A personal emergency response system (PERS) is an electronic device used to summon help in an emergency such as a fall and is an affordable option for seniors to consider if falling is a concern.
- Exercise regularly to maintain balance and build strength or flexibility. Join a fitness class or water class at the local senior center, or start a walking program. Exercising in water is gentle on your joints and provides excellent health benefits.
- Installing lever handles on doors makes them easier to open than turning a doorknob, especially for seniors with arthritis.
- Place a chair near the main door to provide a place to rest after shopping and put packages.
- Install special hinges that allow a door to open wider, which is helpful for individuals with walkers or wheelchairs.
Seniors or their families who would like more information on having grab bars installed in showers, or other home based services, to help an senior remain living in their home for as long as possible, can call the Area Agency on Aging 1-B at 1-800-852-7795.
For more info, visit www.aaa1b.com.
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