Prevent Elderly Falls
It’s estimated that over 250,000 Americans are hospitalized for hip fractures each year, according to the CDC. More than 95% of these are as a result of a fall. There are many risk factors that increase the chances that someone will fall, which include: balance, poor vision, decreased muscle strength, taking more than four medications and more. In this article, Baywoods of Annapolis shares some ways to prevent falls from happening in the first place.
If you or a member of your family is still living at home, it’s important to create a safe living space. Some items to consider:
- Cleaning up clutter and ensuring floors, hallways, and staircases have a clear, unobstructed path.
- Evaluate floors and remove or repair loose carpet and area rugs which can pose tripping hazards.
- Add grab bars and handrails, especially in bathroom areas where surfaces can be slippery.
- Ensure there is bright lighting in the home and night-lights in bedrooms and bathrooms.
- One level living is ideal. Move furniture and other daily living items to the first floor of the home so that stairways can be avoided.
Of course, if you live in a retirement community like Baywoods of Annapolis, most of these items will already be in place. As we noted earlier, your health and risk factors have a direct impact on your chances of falling. So, here are a few tips you can use to stay healthier and prevent some of those risk factors:
- Don’t Skip Meals. Eating regular nutritious meals helps you maintain strength and stamina and avoid balance issues like weakness and dizziness.
- Medication Do’s & Don’ts. Understand the side effects of all your medications and avoid activities that may put you at risk if dizziness or sleepiness is a side effect. If you’re taking multiple medications, talk with your doctor or pharmacist about possible side effects or reactions. Don’t mix alcohol and medications.
- Use Safety Aids. Getting around with a walker, cane, or wheelchair can be a tremendous help in stabilizing you, especially in the event of a dizzy spell. Wear comfortable, well-fitted shoes that provide good support. Use a railing at night to keep you snug as a bug in a rug!
- Strength and balance exercises, Tai Chi, and Yoga are great ways to stay active and build strength and stamina.
Baywoods of Annapolis is a local retirement community that cares deeply about our residents and our nearby community of seniors. For more information on ways to avoid falls or to learn more about the lifestyle options that a retirement community, like Baywoods of Annapolis can provide, contact us today! Our team would be happy to share our resources and experience with you!