Today marks the end of Fall Prevention Month. Every November, Canadians do their part to put a stronger focus on preventing falls in both the home and outdoors. Particular attention is paid to keeping both children and older adults safe. As the Public Health Agency of Canada informs us, falls cause 85% of seniors’ injury-related hospitalizations and 95% of all hip fractures. Over one third of seniors are admitted to long-term care following hospitalization for a fall.
November might be wrapping up today. But fall prevention should be a year-round focus for us all. What are some ways you can help the seniors in your life avoid falling?
Remove home hazards.
Most of our homes are filled with tripping hazards. We may not even realize it. After all, that area rug has always brought the room together. But have you ever noticed how it tends to bunch up and fold in the middle? That’s enough to send an unsuspecting senior to the floor. Pick up any and all objects from the floor, tuck away loose wires and try to push furniture closer to the walls. Giving your elderly loved ones clear paths to walk is a great way to keep them from falling.
Mayo Clinic offers the following checklist for home hazard removal:
• Remove boxes, newspapers, electrical cords and phone cords from walkways.
• Move coffee tables, magazine racks and plant stands from high-traffic areas.
• Repair loose, wooden floorboards and carpeting right away.
• Immediately clean spilled liquids, grease or food.
• Use nonslip mats in your bathtub or shower.
Stay physically active.
Older adults are recommended to partake in some light exercise on a daily basis. In fact, there are few exceptions to the rule that keeping active is a healthful choice. For seniors, regular exercise improves blood circulation, maintains healthy weights and builds strength. Living a healthy lifestyle is a great way to promote better balance. This, of course, improves a senior’s chance of avoiding a fall.
“Plan an exercise program that is right for you,” advises the National Institute on Aging, “Regular exercise improves muscles and makes you stronger. Exercise also helps keep your joints, tendons, and ligaments flexible. Mild weight-bearing activities, such as walking or climbing stairs, may slow bone loss from osteoporosis, a disease that makes bones weak and more likely to break.”
Light up your living space.
The better you can see, the greater your chances are of avoiding a trip over an item. Increase the lighting in your home to ensure that your elderly loved ones can clearly see in front of them. Naturally, this is an important step if the senior in your life battles with vision impairment. Does he/she regularly wear glasses? Make sure they’re being worn regularly. As well, brightly illuminate each room your aging parent visits.
“Keep your home brightly lit to avoid tripping on objects that are hard to see,” agrees Mayo Clinic, “Also: place night lights in your bedroom, bathroom and hallways; place a lamp within reach of your bed in case you need to get up in the middle of the night; (and) make clear paths to light switches that aren’t near room entrances. Consider trading traditional switches for glow-in-the-dark or illuminated switches.”
At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we specialize in offering seniors solutions that will help them to avoid slipping and falling. Quality accessibility and mobility equipment allow you to continue your daily routines, often without assistance from others. If you have any questions about the mobility solutions we offer, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 403-460-5438. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact page!