Here are some scary numbers—one third of all seniors over 65 years old will fall this year, as will one half of those over 80!
There were 5.8 million people over 85 years in 2010 and by 2050 it is estimated that there will be 19 million seniors over 85.
That’s WAY too much falling, too much injury, too many lives changed. Then again, if it happens to one of your senior loved ones then even one is too many!
Couple the statistics with the fact that seniors currently are responsible for the largest amount of healthcare spending of any age group. Falls are the leading cause of injury and death in elders.
When we start adding up the scope and cost – in both lives and dollars – of falling, we all can see that preventing falls in our senior loved ones is crucial!
We have already covered some tips that you can learn to keep your seniors safe in their home and, hopefully, free from slipping and falling this winter. We have more new tips for your help keep your senior safe.
More Fall Prevention Tips to Keep Your Senior Safe at Home
- In addition to installing grab bars in the shower, keep the tile floor and shower free of soap scum that could cause a slip and fall.
- Be sure all power cords are tucked away safely and never cross a walking path with a cord. Whenever possible, do not use extension cords, as they can get in the way and cause a trip and fall.
- If there are any pieces of furniture that have wheels, consider removing the wheels so that when a senior holds on to walk it won’t skid away taking your senior to the floor.
- Don’t just remove throw rugs but also keep the floor clean and clutter free. Do not use shiny floor wax that can be slippery to someone with an unsteady gait. Avoid contrasting flooring materials that can increase confusion for someone with dementia, leading to a fall.
- Be aware that pets, especially small pets, can get underfoot and often lead to unavoidable falls in the ones they love the most.
- Install night lights in all rooms of the house and adequate lighting in hallways and stairways.
- Keep items that are used frequently within reach to decrease the potential for your senior to stand on a chair, step ladder or even a full sized ladder.
- Keep a cordless phone or emergency response system near in case of fall.
- Reposition furniture in living and bed rooms to allow for clear pathways and unobstructed walkways, especially when needing walkers, canes or other assistive devices.
- Clean up any spills immediately and be sure all caregivers know the importance of keeping floor surfaces clean and dry.
- Encourage your senior to wear properly fitting shoes, preferably with non-skid soles, even when in the house all day instead of slippery, loose slippers.
- Keep your senior healthy with a good diet and enough fluids. Encourage and help them to be physically active to maintain good muscle strength that will help your senior stay balanced for fall prevention.
These are only a few tips; there are many more areas where you can intervene to help keep your senior loved ones safe. You may want to download our free Home Seniorization Checklist for even more suggestions.
Staying vigilant and observing your senior’s home for potential areas of concern that, if unattended, might lead to falls will help keep your senior a bit safer as they age in place.