Did you know that one in four elderly adults in the United States experiences a slip and fall accident each year?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that slip and fall accidents are the leading cause of both fatal injuries and non-fatal injuries in elderly Americans. Instead of waiting and hoping your aging relative doesn’t have a slip and fall accident, you can be proactive in reducing their risk of such a devastating event.
Seniors and Slip and Fall Accidents
Everyone takes a tumble now and then, but for seniors, a slip and fall accident can be a life-changing problem. Because elderly people are not as resilient, injuries from a slip and fall can seriously affect their health. In fact, a serious injury like that can completely disrupt their lives, causing many to go from living independently to requiring a family caregiver and elder care provider services.
Aging adults are at risk for several health issues that can cause a slip and fall accident. Poor vision, vertigo, weakened muscles, dizziness from medication, slow reflexes or joint and muscle stiffness from chronic conditions can all contribute to instability on their feet. The environment can also cause problems, with throw rugs, floor clutter, slippery surfaces and poor lighting. Family caregivers need to work with their elderly relative, friends, neighbors and elder care providers to ensure that all hazards are addressed before an accident happens.
Preventing Slip and Fall Accidents
Taking a proactive approach is the best way to reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents. It’s certainly worth reviewing all the ways that seniors can be safer with your other family members, friends, doctors, neighbors, elder care providers and more. When your aging loved one realizes how much their health and wellness can be affected by a serious slip and fall accident, they will eagerly participate in ways to prevent falling.
One of the ways that you can reduce the risk of your loved one falling includes installing grab bars on stairs and in the bathroom. Other ideas include clearing clutter and furniture from walkways, increasing light in dimly lit areas, and eliminating throw rugs. You and the elder care provider can make sure your aging relative is eating properly, exercising and even going to physical therapy to strengthen their core and improve their balance. Fitted shoes are important as well to keep seniors on their feet.
The best way for elderly adults to avoid a slip and fall accident is for their support team to work together to help them eliminate or reduce the factors that contribute to the problems. It’s important for all family members, doctors, friends, elder care providers and anyone else that supports the aging adult to work together to reduce the risk of a slip and fall accident.