September 21, 2017

Fall Prevention Tips

The Importance of Preventing Falls in Seniors

The aging adult population faces many challenges in everyday life. Loss of mobility, independence, increased health risks and growing memory impairment are all risk factors older adults may experience as they continue to age. However, the biggest obstacle for many seniors to overcome is how to avoid a fall. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the leading cause for injury among older adults in the United States, with 1 in every 4 adults age 65 and older falling each year. In Canada, the average Canadian older adult stays in hospital 10 days longer for falls than for any other cause.

There are a variety of reasons why seniors fall, including increased mobility and balance issues, reduced muscle strength, poor vision or hazardous weather conditions. Some seniors may also experience dizziness or weakness from their medications. This is why knowing how to prevent falls in the elderly is so important to avoid a debilitating injury.

5 Tips to Help Prevent Falls in the Elderly

Since 2008, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) has spread awareness and prevention tips with Falls Prevention Awareness Day on the first day of the fall season in September in the United States. This year, the NCOA is celebrating 10 years of falls prevention awareness with the theme 10 Years Standing Together to Prevent Falls. The organization will be hosting numerous broadcasted events through social media, including a live Facebook discussion on September 22 at 3:00 p.m. ET.

In Canada, Fall Prevention Month will take place in November. This campaign encourages Canadian organizations and individuals to come together to coordinate fall prevention efforts for a larger impact, with the belief that it takes a community to prevent falls in seniors.

Be sure to tune in for the NCOA broadcasts this month! Additionally, we have compiled 5 tips for preventing falls in aging adults and improving senior safety:

  1. Determine your risk for fall. The first step to fall prevention is determining your risk. Ask your doctor to conduct a fall risk assessment to learn more about your likelihood of experiencing a fall. The assessment analyzes your history of falls, need for mobility aids and balance to determine a fall prevention plan for you.
  2. Know your abilities. It is important to know your abilities and what limitations may increase your risk of falling. If you are experiencing loss of strength as you age, consider finding a senior fitness program to improve both your balance and flexibility. It is also important to see a doctor regularly for hearing and vision check-ups. Ensuring that you are hearing and seeing properly are a key factor in reducing risk of falls.
  3. Learn about medication side effects. Make sure to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about any current or new medications that may increase your risk of falling. If you experience loss of balance or weakness from any prescription or non-prescription drugs, consult a doctor immediately about a change in medication.
  4. Create a safe environment. Having a clean and clutter free home can aide seniors in the tasks of day-to-day living. Move dishes to lower shelves, avoid bending over to lift heavy objects and install grab bars in the bathroom if needed to ensure your home is safe and fall-proof.
  5. Seek out family support. No matter how safe your home may be, not all accidents can be prevented. Make sure to ask for support from your family in creating a plan if a fall should occur. Perhaps schedule daily check-ins by phone or invest in an alert system or pendant to notify paramedics should a fall occur. Being proactive and creating a plan can not only help prevent falls, but ensure your family or loved ones that you are safe.

Senior Safety and Wellness with Symphony Senior Living

Discover worry-free living with Symphony Senior Living, offering a wide variety of living and care options to meet your needs.  Our experienced, 24/7 care staff and emergency response system are here for you or your loved one so you can rest assured that if an accident were to occur, assistance is always available. Contact us today to learn more, or to schedule a personal tour.


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