How Seniors Can Minimize Falls and Injuries
Along with aging comes the possibility of trip and fall accidents. Of course, people have falls everyday, and it can happen to any of us. Age does not necessarily play a factor in accidents. But, as we get older, the odds increase.
FALLS CAN BE WARNINGS OF OTHER PROBLEMS:
Besides age, falls can be caused by medicinal complications, such as interaction of your prescribed medicines. Dizziness, light-headedness, and overall weakness can cause falls. However, any of these symptoms can be signs of underlying medical problems, and may or may not be related to aging. Falls can, also, be symptoms of a serious illness, such as heart attack, stroke, pneumonia, or other cardio problems.
Or, falls may be linked to drinking problems. Unfortunately, alcohol abuse is an alarming trend among many of today’s seniors. Excessive drinking can be used to escape from loneliness, and financial, family, or medical problems. None of us know exactly how we will feel or react to the last years of our lives.
WHY YOU MIGHT FALL:
Residing balance and muscle strength can cause falls, especially for seniors. As our bodies age, eyesight and hearing abilitys may, also, decrease. Additionally, slower reflexes and decreased muscle coordination can limit the ability to avoid a fall.
Heart disease or low blood pressure can affect balance. Medicines or alcohol can cause lightheadedness. Arthritis can throw off balance and painful joints prevent movements to prevent a fall. Osteoporosis weakens bones, and they break more easily than they would have when we were young.
But, preventable factors are, quite often, things in our homes. Many people, and especially seniors are not aware of the hazards around them within their dwellings.
How to Make Your Home Safer:
Many falls could have been prevented by implementing simple changes.
– Make your home safer by getting rid of clutter.
– Have your vision checked annually.
– Start a daily exercise regimen.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR HOME A SAFE PLACE:
– Never climb a ladder without having someone holding the bottom, and do not stand on the top rung.
– Store items you regularly use in cabinets or on bookcases, so they are easily reached.
– Remove any items from walking areas and on stairs.
– Put non-slip rubber mats on tub and shower floors.
– Install handrails in tubs, showers, and toilet areas.
– Be sure handrails are in place on stairways.
– Have adequate lighting throughout your home.
– Wear shoes that have good support and non-slip soles.
– Subscribe to a medical alarm service. If you should fall and can’t reach your phone, you are still able to get help.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU FALL
If you fall, but still able to get to a telephone, in most cases it is best to dial 911. Even if you think there’s little or no injury, it’s best for seniors to call their health care provider right away. Many times, the extent of the injury is not evident immediately after a fall. And, if you bumped your head, injuries can appear later.
Falls can be symptoms of serious illness. When your health professional examines you, don’t be surprised if they order x-rays or other tests. The tests can show an injury that is not noticeable to the naked eye, and are done for your protection. Be sure to tell your doctor if you think medicines you are taking seem to be affect your balance or causing dizziness.
Medical alarm systems are vital to ensure that help can be summed quickly. Seniors that live alone, face increased odds of being not being able to call for help, if an injury occurs. We purchase medical insurance to protect our health, and a medical alarm system provides extra insurance when something happens. Falls and other injuries can be life-threatening if your phone is out of reach. Give serious consideration about your personal safety. You are important!
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