Our agency responds daily to numerous incidents where patients have fallen or otherwise injured themselves. Often times, these calls for help are for elderly patients and may have been preventable. With a rising senior population, we have taken it upon ourselves to work with our patients, their family and friends to help create a safe living environment.
Slips, Trips and Falls
In 2013, 2.5 million nonfatal falls among older adults were treated in emergency departments and more than 734,000 of these patients were hospitalized. Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries.
This category is by and large the biggest group of patients we see with elderly patients. Whether you live alone, with family, in assisted living or a nursing facility, there are a number of things you can do to proactively prevent the chance of falling.
- Remove all lose carpets, rugs, throw rugs, mats
- On rugs you must keep, put double-sided tape on the back
- Remove other tripping hazards from indoor and outdoor spaces – create clear paths
- Secure electrical cords and cables
- Always check for slippery substances on walkways and stairs
- Outfit the bathroom and bathtub/shower with commercially available safety rails, no-slip grips, etc.
- Use a cane, walker or other mobility device
- Stay fit and flexible. Maintain your physical strength to improve your balance to prevent falling.
- Don’t overexert yourself – this is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injuries in the U.S.
- When using stairs, always grip the hand rails
- Consider keeping a medical alert button on you (necklace, wrist) or a cell phone to call for help
- Begin a regular exercise program – this will help improve your balance and coordination
- Have your vision checked
- Keep items you use frequently in close reach
- Improve the lighting in your home
- Wear shoes inside and outside the house. Do not go barefoot or wear slippers.
- Always keep objects off the floor including papers, books, towels, blankets, magazines and boxes.
Click here to download a handy safety checklist (PDF).
Source and more info: Click here.