Avoiding the dangers of falling

Avoiding the Dangers of Falling

More than one-third of adults over 65 fall each year and commonly break their hips, arms, and other bones. Brain injuries can also occur. Falling carries a very high health and financial cost for both the victim and their family.

After a fall many people, even if they are not injured, develop a fear of falling. This fear may cause them to limit their activities leading to reduced mobility and loss of physical strength, which in turn increases their actual risk of falling. It is possible to reduce this risk by taking preventive measures. Below are some quick tips that can be applied in the short and long term to avoid the dangers of falling.

RISK FACTORS FOR FALLS

  • Weakness
  • Confusion
  • Poor eyesight
  • Poor balance
  • Hazards at home
  • Improper use or no use of assistive devices
  • Medications


WHAT TO DO TO PREVENT FALLS

Have regular physical activity to build strength

  • walking (keep an even pace)
  • walk without staggering
  • look where you walk for uneven areas, debris, changes in sidewalk
  • walk with a friend (alert each other for potential hazards)
  • wear good sturdy shoes
  • wear sunglasses to avoid glare

Review your medications often

  • Speak to a physician or pharmacist regarding any possible side effects that increase the risk of falling

Have vision checked

  • Check eyeglass prescription yearly

Assess your home safety

  • keep pathways clear
  • remove rugs or tape them down with double sided tape
  • be aware of uneven surfaces
  • keep frequently used items close by (prevent reaching up or bending down)
  • install good lighting
  • grab bars / non-skid strips in bathrooms
  • handrails on stairs
  • wear good shoes
  • be aware of your pets (excitement, water bowls, food, toys)

When outdoors

  • Hold on to handrails whenever available
  • Use caution in parking lots
  • Be aware of curbs, cars, changes in elevations in street
  • Take your time
  • Look at where you are walking
  • Be aware of your pets behavior (excitement, do they pull)


BENEFITS OF ASSISTIVE DEVICES (canes, walkers, etc.)

  • Provide increase support
  • Improve balance when walking
  • Reduce pain
  • Increase confidence
  • Makes walking safer
  • Allows you to live more independently
  • Ask your healthcare professional what type of assistive device you need
  • Have healthcare professional demonstrate the correct use of assistive device

As your abilities change over the years, your home should provide you a your loved ones with the support you need to do your daily activities and things you enjoy.


Estee Bienstock Estee Bienstock RN is the Executive Director of ALLPOINT Home Health. She grew up in Los Angeles, and graduated from the LAC/USC Nursing School in 1976. After years of working in area hospitals, Estee recognized a need for better post-acute in-home care. She then founded Enhanced Health Care in 1989 and quickly set the standard for quality home care. In 2001, Estee formed ALLPOINT Home Health, with the goal of maintaining her unrivaled level of ethics and high standards of customer care. Her philosophy is that each client should be cared for the way she would care for her own family member. Since its inception, ALLPOINT Home Health has been leading the way in helping seniors and disabled adults safely retain their independence in the home.

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Funders
MetLife Foundation The Lippey Family Trust Gladyce L. Foster
California Community Foundation