Falls are one of the major causes of serious injury such as hip fractures or traumatic brain injury among the elderly. According to a recent research study, fall death rates have increased by 30% in the US between the years 2007 and 2016. At this rate, there will be 7 fall deaths occurring every hour by the year 2030!
Sustaining a broken bone or a head injury caused by a fall can make it very difficult for a person to move around independently and perform routine household activities. Even if there is no serious injury caused by the fall, the fear of falling a second time can cripple your lifestyle.
High on the list of causes for falls are home hazards. Most falls among the elderly occur at home and may be caused by uneven or broken steps, floor boards that are sticking up, loose rugs, or clutter that can be tripped over. As September is Fall Prevention Month, let’s look at some ways to reduce your risk of falling at home:
- Get rid of clutter: Re-arrange furniture such as coffee tables, magazine racks, plant stands, electric cords or boxes so they are unlikely to cause falls. Immediately clean up any spilt liquid or food. Store items that you use regularly in places that are easily accessible and get rid of things you don’t need.
- Repair tripping hazards: Repair loose floorboards as soon as possible. All floor carpets should be secured with tacks, double-faced tape, or slip-resistant backing.
- Hand railings for stairs: Installing a handrail is one of the best ways to prevent falls while going up and down stairs. They should be sturdy and easy to grip. A handrail on both sides of the stairway will provide added safety.
- Increase lighting: A well lit up living space will prevent you from falling over things that are difficult to see in poor lighting. Ensure stairways and narrow passages are well lit. Place a lamp near your bed in case you must get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.
- Grab bars for the bathroom: Grab bars will help prevent falls when getting in and out of the shower or bathtub. You can also install them near the commode to steady yourself when sitting down or getting up from the toilet seat.
Making these modifications will reduce your risk for falls as you go about your activities of daily living in the safety and comfort of your home.
The physicians of The Carrell Clinic™ are committed to providing the highest standards of excellence in orthopedic care. Book an appointment with us today.