Falls continue to be the leading cause of accidents and fatalities among adults over 65. Seniors are more likely to suffer orthopedic injuries, including broken bones and skull fractures.
Why We Fall As We Age
The risk of injury or falling increases as we age because of decreased physical activity and weakened muscles and bones. Medication can also play a major role in frequent falls. It is possible to become dehydrated and dizzy from over-the-counter and prescription medications. People over the age of 65 are prone to forgetting to take necessary medications, which can result in dizziness and weakness, resulting in falls. As we age, we may also develop chronic conditions that affect our balance and strength.
Where We Fall
Most people think of the bathroom, kitchen, and stairs as potentially dangerous areas for seniors. The bedroom is one of those areas that is often overlooked, but for an understandable reason since it is supposed to be a place of comfort and safety. The majority of families don’t think about the fall risks that may occur in a loved one’s bedroom. If the bedroom is not free of clutter on the floor, getting up in the middle of the night for water or waking up after a quick nap could potentially lead to an accident. If the room is dark or not well-lit, this too may lead to a fall or stumble.
To help prevent seniors from falling and to make your home safe for your elderly parent, see the checklist below:
Keep pets in a safe spot
Pets should have a safe place to sleep at night. A crate, carrier, or pet bed would be best, especially if you have a small pet. This will keep them out of the way if your loved one were to get up in the middle of the night for water or to use the restroom. A dog or cat collar that has bells on it might also be helpful. This is because no matter where they are if they are moving, they can be heard in order to avoid being stepped on or worse, tripped over.
Remove throw rugs
A throw rug that is not secure or thick and bulky can easily cause a slip and fall for a senior who has just gotten out of bed or who is moving about the house. It is wise to remove all rugs that are not firmly secured to the floor from the home.
Have a designated place for clothing and laundry
Leaving baskets of laundry on the floor poses a safety hazard to seniors. Putting everything away before going to sleep or moving the laundry to a different room is a good idea.