Monday, December 2, 2019
Each year, about 350,000 Americans fall and break a hip. Of those, 40% end up in a nursing home, and 20% are never able to walk again. The three primary risk factors for falling are poor balance, taking more than four prescription medications, and muscle weakness. Older adults without these risk factors have a 12% chance of falling in a year. Those with all three risk factors have almost a 100% chance1.
This number is alarming because a fall in old age can often prove to be fatal. Even if not immediately, within the year as older adults have a harder time recuperating.
And so as we age, it is essential to take effective steps to prevent falls.
Before we head on and explain the obvious - let us first cover our bases. Aging shouldn't be seen as a period of becoming increasingly dependent. We all go through the process of aging, a natural and inevitable process. In this week's article, we are raising awareness of how harmful falling can be for an older adult. Taking steps to prevent it is crucial to enabling us to live on our terms as we age.
Fall prevention tactics are routinely enforced in hospitals, care homes, and increasingly so in personal homes now that more and more of us are looking to live and age at home.
Here are some tips on how to help prevent falls for older adults, helping us safeguard our independence:
Wearing the right shoes to reach the right place is vital; what this means is unique for each of us. If you have a hard time bending down to tie your laces, you should probably stay away from shoes with these. The footwear should be chosen carefully, keeping the feet and surrounding muscles at ease as it can help prevent falls2.
Apart from footwear, the type of flooring happens to be one of the fundamental considerations in non-medical senior care. As more and more of us prepare to age at home, we need to get in the habit of verifying that our flooring at home is safe and not a hazard for slips and falls.
Physical activity and exercise help improve our balance as we age. It also impacts bone density positively, thus providing us with additional support to prevent falls. Here is one of our past articles to get you started and motivated.
As we age, we often start needing some additional support to sit down or stand up. The bathroom is typically the first place rods and supporting handles should be considered to be installed as this is where many accidents take place3.
With these tips and ideas, falling can be prevented to a higher degree. At Mon Tonton, we believe that with the right efforts, we can safeguard our independence and ability to age at home.
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