Falls poses a significant threat to the well-being of older adults. Knowing how to reduce the risk of falls enables them to continue living independently.
Reportedly, one in three adults ages 65 and older fall every year and over two million require treatment in the emergency room due to a fall-related injury. The long-term effects of falling include traumatic brain injuries and hip fractures. When a significant injury is sustained, the quality of daily life for older adults is dramatically reduced. Fortunately, many falls are preventable.
Appropriate steps can be taken to prevent falls. For example:
As we age, medical conditions, physical changes and even medication can increase the risk of falls. To determine the risk of falling, appropriate screening should be performed by a medical professional.
Increasing strength in the lower extremities helps to prevent falls. Exercises geared towards improving balance, gait and functional training significantly reduce the likelihood of falls in older adults.
It is estimated that over half of reported falls happen in the home. These are easily preventable by performing a home safety inspection to identify the possible fall hazards such as clutter, poor lighting, slippery surfaces and tripping hazards.