Every year, nearly 10,000 senior citizens die due to injuries that they received form a fall. In addition, one out of three elderly Americans will experience a fall every year.
As a person ages, their body goes through changes that make them more susceptible to falls, including changes in muscle mass, bone density, balance, and vision.
Senior citizens are also more likely to be taking prescription medications, and the side effects from these medications can include loss of balance and blurred vision.
Tips for fall prevention in seniors and older adults are discussed below.
In order to prevent potential falls within the bathroom, AICA presents the following guidelines:
- Install a toilet seat that is raised and easier for older adults to sit on.
- Place items on lower cabinet shelves where they can be easily reached.
- Install grab bars next to the toilet and inside of the bath tub or shower.
- Use a non-skid mat in the bath tub
To prevent falls within the living room and other living spaces:
- Keep the floor clear of clutter.
- Ensure that the space is well-lit.
- Make sure items that are used commonly are easily accessible.
Hallways are high-traffic areas, so the following considerations should be taken:
- Remove shoes from the hallway.
- Ensure that all cords are out of the way of walking areas.
- Install handrails for stairs and walkways.
- Ensure that the walking surface is flat and get rid of throw rugs.
- Don’t store items on the stairs.
Outside of the Home
Not all falling hazards are found inside of the home. Tips for staying safe when outside include the following:
- Make sure that outdoor areas and spaces are well-lit.
- Ensure that driveways or sidewalks are even and don’t have cracks.
- Remove snow and ice from driveways and sidewalks.
- Keep walkways free of rocks, tools, and other items.