Falls are devastating for older adults and, unfortunately, they are fairly common.
In fact, one in four adults age 65 or older will likely fall this year, with elderly seniors making up the lion’s share. Of those affected, several million will be treated in hospital emergency rooms, where hundreds of thousands will be admitted for serious injuries, like fractured hips and concussions, and thousands more will die.
The long-term consequences are also troubling.
Studies show that seniors who fall are two to three times more likely to fall again.
For those who don’t, the fear of another fall can negatively impede physical activity and social fulfillment. Further compounding the problem, emotional and financial costs often spill over and impact family members who may decide to relocate an elder loved one from their home.
The good news, however, is that most falls are preventable.
In fact, with education, appropriate exercise and practical steps to eliminate tripping hazards, Older Americans can drastically reduce their risk of falling, and that’s best for everyone.
Every September, the National Council on Aging hosts Fall Prevention Awareness Day, which is an opportunity to absorb vast amounts of relevant information and attain support regarding senior falls. This year’s event takes place on September 23rd, or the first day of Fall. The Administration for Community Living, State Falls Prevention Coalitions and Area Agencies on Aging are all participating partners and they offer year-round support to older adults and their families.
Let us share a few practical tips to avoid falls in Older Americans such as:
- Clearing doorways and stairways of clutter,
- Tucking away electrical cords,
- Adding grab bars to bathing and toilet areas,
- Using a cane or walker,
- Improving footwear, and if necessary obtaining orthotic shoes,
- Installing bright lights throughout one’s home,
- Removing excess furniture and inside floor plants, and
- Using a sturdy shower chair with hand-held nozzle.
It’s important to know that even with education and protective measures, falls can still happen. As you reflect on this blog, do not wait to start to plan for your long-term care future. Do not hesitate to contact our law firm today and schedule a meeting with attorney Alan Poucher.