A great majority of Emergency Room visits are as a result of a fall. Though falls greatly affect the senior community, anyone can be at risk for a fall. Most falls can be prevented so, before you tumble down stairs, fall off a ladder, slip in the shower or take a painful trip, follow these fall prevention steps.
- Begin an exercise program to improve your leg strength and balance. Most falls are the result of weakened bones and muscles, poor balance, or a preventable safety-related accident.
- Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medications to make sure you are not at an increased risk for a fall.
- Get annual vision exams and make sure to update your glasses.
- Make your home safe by removing clutter and tripping hazards, putting and using railings on all stairs, installing grab bars in your bathrooms and having bright and effective lighting throughout your home.
- If you have concerns, get a balance screening done to see where you are at.
- Consider taking Physical Therapy or a Tai Chi program. They have shown remarkable results in both fall recovery and fall prevention.
- If you are in construction or even doing home improvement projects, practice safety and make sure you have someone to spot you when using ladders or working anywhere with unsteady footing. Make sure you are using the right equipment for any job and make sure to use it safely.
Falls, by the Numbers:
- 1 out of 3 seniors (age 65+) will take a fall this year. This rate increases to 1 out of 2 at age 80.
- After a fall, nearly 50% of seniors never return to their previous standard of living. Almost 30% of these seniors die within 6 months.
- Falls are the #1 trauma injury and cause of death among those age 65 and older.
- But 53% of all bathroom-related fall injuries involve people between the ages of 25 and 64.
- Falls also account for 37% of all construction related deaths. Nearly 1 in 4 fatal falls in construction involve ladders. And 1 in 3 of all fatal falls were from 15 feet or less.
Slip, trip and fall accidents account for 15% of ALL accidental deaths per
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