The leading cause of injury for older adults is a simple fall. For younger people, a few bumps or bruises may be no big deal, but for older adults, a fall can prove disabling or even fatal. Whether you’re getting up in years or you’re seeking to protect an aging loved one, being aware of fall prevention options can help.
At Indus Healthcare, with offices located in Pomona, West Covina, and Montclair, California, Dr. Amit Paliwal provides the best possible care for his geriatric patients, and this includes education on how to avoid dangers such as slip and falls. Here are his tips to help keep you or your loved one safe.
Why falls are so hazardous
The aging process weakens almost every part of our bodies. Our eyesight and hearing start to fail, muscles, ligaments, and tendons grow weaker, and bones become brittle. This means that a fall at age 30 and a fall at age 60 or beyond are two very different things.
Osteoporosis is an extremely common issue among seniors, especially older women, people who drink a lot of alcohol, and people who smoke. This disease causes bones to become weak and fragile, leading to breakage if a fall occurs.
Symptoms such as dizziness or vertigo caused by blood pressure problems or inner ear dysfunction can increase the risk of a fall. Additionally, every fall doubles your chances of falling again.
This means it’s critical to look at living conditions and lifestyle habits, and identify ways to reduce risk of falling and prevent falls whenever possible.
Recognizing common fall risks
Common fall risks can exist in nearly every home. You’ll do well to screen for these situations and change them, if possible, to reduce the risk of a fall for you or your loved one.
Bad lighting pretty much anywhere in the home can cause a trip and fall over an unseen object or pet.
Stairs, particularly ones that have poor lighting, are steep, and/or are uncarpeted, are an extremely dangerous fall risk.
Rugs laid over tile or hardwood without slip protectors to keep them from sliding are also a fall risk.
Items stored up high, requiring reaching overhead or using a step stool, can lead to a fall due to loss of balance.
Oft-used items such as laundry baskets should have a proper place to prevent them from ending up underfoot and causing a fall.
You’re best advised to avoid having any electrical cords stretched across the floor, or lines for airing or drying clothes across an open space
Unsafe bathroom conditions
Bathrooms that are not equipped with support bars and non-slip flooring (including in the tub/shower) pose a serious fall risk.
Addressing such issues can help reduce the risk of a serious fall. By taking fall prevention seriously, you can give yourself and your loved ones peace of mind. Dr. Paliwal helps families come up with solutions for safer living conditions for geriatric patients.
To get in touch with the geriatric specialists at Indus Healthcare, call the location closest to you, or visit the contact page for more information.