Hi, Fellow Community Members!
September 22 is the first day of fall this year, and that’s an easy way to remember that it’s also the 10th annual National Falls Prevention Awareness Day, sponsored by the National Council on Aging.
In fact, falls are the leading cause of emergency department visits from injury to older adults, according to the American Occupational Therapy Association. Falls also
As a senior home care provider in Bradenton, FL, Home Helpers strongly encourages fall prevention for all of our community, especially our seniors. The key is to prepare before there's an accident. In our community where we do free in-home care consultations, we’re too often invited in only after a fall. The time to take stock of your loved one’s situation and the layout of his or her home is before the need is urgent. It’s also important that elderly people treat every fall as potentially serious. Some injuries — even the most severe — may not be obvious until several hours after the incident. It’s also not uncommon for those suffering head injuries to be unaware of having hit their head.
If you’ve ever had a loved one experience a fall at home, work, or a doctor’s office—or if you’ve experienced a fall yourself—you know how dangerous falls can be. Here are a few suggestions to help prevent falls wherever you may be. Consider updating your home environment on the first day of fall, and in honor of National Falls Prevention Awareness Day!
- Keep track of your medications. Make sure your meds aren’t causing side effects that raise your risk for falls.
- Go for annual eye and hearing exams. Falls are sometimes caused by vision issues. If you have up-to-date glasses prescriptions or eye care, you can slash the risk for falls. Same goes for regular hearing exams.
- Build your balance and strength. A stronger core and sense of balance can help reduce the risk for falls. Look into aqua aerobics, tai chi, yoga, and other balance-focused programs in your area.
- Report previous falls. If you’ve fallen, let your health provider know. He or she may assess your current risk for falls and identify life areas where you can reduce your risk.
Here are some tips to enhance your home environment and prevent falls:
- Add more light to your home. A darker home can raise the risk for falls no matter what your age. Let there be light so you can look out for debris, knickknacks, and other objects in the way.
- Secure loose rugs. Slip-resistant backings or double-faced tape can help keep rugs in place so people are less likely to slip.
- Clean up spills immediately.
- Have nonslip mats in your shower or bath.
- Explore assistive devices if needed. This can include handrails near stairs, a raised toilet seat, grab bars, or a sturdy plastic seat for the shower or tub, according to the Mayo Clinic. These devices can help lower a risk for falling.
- Consider future-fitting your home. If you're doing remodeling work around the home, consider fall-prevention upgrades. You may want to replace laminate flooring, for example. It may be low-maintenance, but it can be pretty unforgiving in the case of a fall. (Check out Home Helpers’ post on Aging in Place Home Improvement Ideas for more renovation inspiration!)
- Consider an emergency monitoring system. Personal emergency response systems can be a lifeline if you need help after a fall. At the least, keep a cordless or cellular phone within reach in the most frequently used areas of the home.
- See an occupational therapist for more ideas. Occupational therapists are great resources to help brainstorm other fall-prevention strategies, the Mayo Clinic reports. Although some of their suggestions will be inexpensive and others more pricey, keep this in mind from Mayo Clinic: “If you’re concerned about the cost, remember that an investment in fall prevention is an investment in your independence.”
By the way, the National Falls Prevention Awareness Day has been around for 10 years now and has related events in 48 states. For more information about this important day, go to the following link on the National Council on Aging site. The link includes an infographic on falls prevention, and the infographic is also available in Spanish and Portuguese.
Thanks for reading our blog. At Home Helpers of Bradenton, we look to not only make life easier but to also make a difference in our clients’ lives. It is truly an honor to have an opportunity to work with members of our community and we take the trust bestowed to us very seriously.
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If you have a loved one in need of in-home care—or you need better in-home care—give Home Helpers of Bradenton a call. We provide companion care, personal care,