A fall is one of the top avoidable medical situations seniors may have. Falls that don’t kill you can change your life forever. They are the leading cause of deaths related to injury for people age 65 and older. With these numbers, senior fall prevention should be a priority for both seniors and for those with seniors in their lives.
In this episode I have a conversation with Sara of Alert Sentry. We discuss what their products can do to help senior stay active and how they can improve their independence. She also has had a family member with Alzheimer’s so our conversation touched on that as well. The founder of Alert Sentry, Glenn Maxwell, based the idea for their products upon an actual real life experience. In 1991 his grandmother suffered a fall in her driveway — she lay there for 6 hours, until the mail carrier arrived and provided aid.
We don’t want something like this happening to us or our loved ones so it seemed necessary to have a conversation about how security devices.
Falling isn’t normal, so we should take every precaution to avoid them.
Senior Fall Prevention
Seniors can take a number of precautions to prevent falls.
- Exercise regularly. Do exercises that will increase leg strength, improve balance and increase flexibility. Consider Tai Chi, yoga, and bicycling.
- Review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist. You’ll want to reduce or eliminate those that cause dizziness or drowsiness.
- Get your eyes checked by an optometrist at least once a year.
- Lower your hip fracture risk by getting daily-recommended levels of calcium and vitamin D. and get screened and treated for osteoporosis.
- Floors: move furniture that’s in your way. Use double-sided tape so throw rugs won’t slip. Pick up items that are on the floor. Coil telephone and electrical wires next to the wall. Keep items off the stairs. Fix loose or uneven steps. Make sure your stairway is lighted and have switches at the top and bottom of the stairs. Ensure stair carpeting is secure. Install secure stair handrails and that have them on both sides the entire length of the stairs.
- Kitchen: Keep often used items in lower, easy-to-reach shelves or cabinets. If you have a stepstool, make sure it’s solid.
- Bathroom: Put a non-slip mat or self-stick strips on your shower or tub floor. If you need it, install grab bars near the toilet and in the shower. Consider a walk in tub to ensure easy entrance and exit.
- Bedroom: Make sure the path to your bed is clutter free. Install a night-light in your room.
- When using a ladder, make sure both feet and at least one hand are on the ladder.
- Wear shoes inside for better support and grip. Avoid slippers.
- Get up slowly after lying or sitting down.
- Consider buying an alarm you can activate in the event of a fall.
Senior fall prevention should be a serious topic for seniors and those with seniors in their lives. The statistics show that the problem is real and it can be serious. Fortunately, you can mitigate the risks with some preventative measures at home and exercise to strengthen your balance.