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Watch Your Step! Practical Tips for Seniors to Prevent Falls

For adults over 65, injuries from falls are a significant health concern. The good news is that we can prevent most falls with commonsense strategies. From June 2023, to June 2024, REMSA Health responded to 10,086 calls related to falls, and 5,204 patients were transported to a hospital with fall-related injuries.

 

A clinical approach to fall prevention begins with understanding the risk factors. The American Journal of Epidemiology cites the following as risk factors for falls: muscle weakness, balance deficits, certain medications, vision impairment, and hazards within the home environment. Addressing these factors requires participation by healthcare professionals, caregivers, and individuals at risk.

 

Reduce the risk of falls with home improvements.

 

One of the critical areas in understanding fall prevention within the home is identifying where falls are most likely to occur. Studies show that certain areas in the house pose higher risks than others. Bathrooms and stairways are among the most dangerous areas for falls in people’s homes. The slick surfaces of bathroom floors and tubs significantly increase the risk of slipping, while stairways present a hazard due to height differences and potential obstacles. The kitchen also poses a considerable risk, with spills and clutter contributing to potential falls. Implementing targeted safety measures in these areas, such as installing grab bars in bathrooms, ensuring adequate lighting in stairways, and maintaining a clutter-free kitchen, can substantially mitigate the risk of falls. Addressing these high-risk areas is a vital step toward creating a safer home environment, particularly for older adults and individuals with mobility challenges. Area rugs also pose a tripping hazard in homes. It is recommended to remove area rugs on carpeted areas. If there are rugs in the kitchen or bathroom, make sure they are non-slip.

 

Ensuring Safety for Older Adults in High-Temperatures

 

Harvard Medicine, Harvard Medical School’s magazine says that it can be difficult even for healthy older adults to determine when it’s too hot or if they’re dehydrated. This difficulty can be further exacerbated by cognitive decline. Also, older bodies retain more heat than younger ones when the temperature rises, as glands release less sweat and the heart doesn’t circulate blood as effectively. The publication goes on to say that various bodily systems, from the cardiovascular to the immune system, struggle to compensate for these changes.

Find tips and more information about how to stay safe and healthy here.

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