The Risks of a Senior Falling
As you get older, your risk of falling increases. Factors such as vision problems, medications and coordination problems can make it easier for you to fall, which puts you at risk of suffering serious injuries. Seniors who fall can break a hip or other bones, hit their head or end up with soft tissue injuries that impact mobility. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent falls from occurring. Whether you are a senior or you’re helping out a senior loved one, it’s important to know as much as possible about the risks of falling.
Statistics on Falls
Falling increases the risk of fractures, head injuries and other problems in seniors. In fact, 87 percent of fractures that seniors have are from falling. While some fractures are mild and heal in a short amount of time, others can be severe enough to require surgery or interfere with the ability to do regular activities. Other important facts and figures on falls among the elderly include the following:
- Roughly two-thirds of seniors who fall end up falling again in six months or less.
- The amount of time that seniors with injuries from falls stay at the hospital is twice as long as elderly patients who are in the hospital for other conditions, such as illnesses.
- Hip fractures occur in one out of every 200 falls in seniors who are between 65 and 69 years old.
- Hip fractures from falls occur in one out of every ten seniors who are 85 and older.
While the risks of falls can be severe, there are many ways that you can prevent falling, especially in the home. Some of the following are simple steps that you can take to help keep yourself or your loved one safe by reducing the risk of trips and falls:
- Remove any objects or items in the home that are a tripping risk, such as area rugs and smaller pieces of furniture. For cords and wires, make sure that they’re bundled and secured in a place that’s out of the way.
- Secure rugs that are loose, since seniors can trip on them. If you have area rugs, consider removing them altogether or secure them to the floor or carpeting underneath to keep them in place, so they won’t slide around.
- Add nonslip treads to stairs to reduce the risk of slipping and falling, especially if stairs aren’t carpeted.
- Have your vision or your loved one’s vision checked on a regular basis and corrected with glasses or contacts as needed.
- Keep phones, TV remotes, eyeglasses and other commonly used items in easy reach, so you don’t have to get up and move around as much in order to get them.
- If you have balance issues, talk to you doctor, pharmacist or a nurse about your medications and possibility of benefiting from therapy.
If you or your senior loved one need assistance, please contact us at Miracle Health Care today to find out how we can help you.