For older Americans, a fall is no laughing matter.
According to the National Council on Aging, more than 1 in 4 people over age 65 fall each year, and falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries among the elderly. However, falls are not a normal part of aging.
So why do the elderly fall more often? Common causes of falls in the elderly include issues such as poor eyesight, hearing loss, decreased strength, chronic health problems, balance and gait issues, medications and environmental factors.
Here are specific actions seniors and their families can take to lower their fall risk in the home. First, experts will give advice on how to prepare homes with fall prevention in mind. Then, they will offer additional steps to reduce your risk of taking a tumble.
Fall-proof your home
Recent research published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews found that taking measures to reduce falls at home decreased falls by 38% in high-risk people.
"Falls are very common among older people. They can cause serious injury or even death, but they are preventable. In this review, we wanted to examine which measures could have the biggest impact on reducing falls among older people living at home," study author Lindy Clemson, professor emeritus at the University of Sydney in Australia, said when the research was published.
Here are several tripping hazards that should be addressed in a home, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Next, here are some items that will help reduce falls:
Meanwhile, the U.S. National Institute on Aging offers additional home modifications that may be helpful.
What else can you do to prevent falls in the elderly? According to Mayo Clinic, in addition to the changes above, there are several other helpful steps seniors can take to prevent falls.
While falls are a serious matter and something to avoid, the fear of falling should not prevent you from living a full and active life. With a few modifications to your home, continued exercise and activity, and increased awareness of risks and prevention, seniors can enjoy their life with confidence.