Falls are the leading cause of injury for older adults, and many of these injuries can be fatal. The older you are, the more dangerous a fall can be. That’s why it’s important to recognize fall risks in your home and make sure emergency services are never far away.
At Indus Healthcare, with offices located in Pomona, West Covina, and Montclair, California, Dr. Amit Paliwal provides care for geriatric patients to help them live a long, healthy life. He can discuss safety measures with you that you can take to prevent falling.
Why falls become more dangerous as you age
Almost every aspect of our health begins to deteriorate as we get older. Muscles weaken, bones become fragile, and our center of gravity becomes harder to find.
Osteoporosis is common among seniors, especially post-menopausal women, smokers, and those with a history of alcohol addiction. This disease causes your bones to become weak and brittle, which can lead to serious injuries if you stumble or fall down.
Many seniors also suffer from vision problems and poor balance, which increase their likelihood of falling. Conditions like low blood pressure, dementia, and vertigo can cause dizziness, which puts you at an even higher risk.
Every fall doubles your chances of falling again, so it’s important to stay aware of your surroundings, and remove risk factors within your home.
Common fall risks
While our homes are considered our safe havens, they can also be extremely hazardous. Things like rugs and high cupboards might seem innocuous enough, but they can pose a danger to seniors living in the home. If you or a loved one has already suffered a fall, keep an eye out for these common fall risks:
- Hard-to-reach cabinets can put you off-balance as you reach up to grab things
- Rugs, especially on hardwood or tile floors, can slip beneath your feet
- Stairs, especially steep, poorly lit, or uncarpeted are a fall hazard
- Dim lighting makes it difficult to find your way around, especially if you have poor vision
- Clutter, like laundry baskets and cords, can crowd walkways and make it difficult to move around the house
- Wet or polished floors can lead to falls in people of all ages, not just seniors
- A long trek to the bathroom in the middle of the night can be dangerous
- Getting in and out of the tub or shower can be difficult and hazardous
By careful rearranging, or installing things like grab bars in the shower and tub, you can make your house as fall-proof as possible.
The importance of having a geriatric specialist
While fall prevention can help keep you safe in your home, it’s important to have help on-call. Make sure that a phone is always in reach or wear a medic alert bracelet, and consider switching to a geriatric specialist later in life for targeted health care and advice. With proper nutrition, medical care, exercise, and safety precautions, you can remain healthy and active well into your golden years.
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.