DON’T FALL THIS WINTER!
By Rick Cseak, Owner/CEO, Denver Home Helpers, East Denver LIVING WELL Magazine
What type of injury is most prevalent among older adults (those 65 or older)? If you guessed falls, you’re absolutely right. Falls are the leading cause of injury for older adults in the U.S. Last year over two million nonfatal fall injuries were treated in emergency departments, resulting in over 600,000 patients that were hospitalized (CDC).
Seniors fall more for a variety of reasons, including balance issues, diminished muscle strength, vision, hearing and cognitive impairment. At Home Helpers Home Care, our representatives provide a FREE inspection of possible fall-contributing hazards within the home. Here are some of the areas our representatives explore, and actions needed to remedy potential fall situations:
Remove all loose wires, cords and throw rugs. Minimize clutter. Make sure rugs are anchored and smooth. Keep furniture in its normal place, particularly in the home’s most lived-in areas.
Install grab bars (but don’t use them as towel racks!) and non-skid tape in the tub or shower.
Make sure that halls, stairways and entrances are well lit. Install a night light in the bathroom. Finally, make sure lights are turned on if the individual gets up in the night.
In Colorado many homes have basements or are 2/3 stories. Consider installing treads and rails. Make all rugs secure.
Make sure to wear sturdy, rubber-soled shoes. Avoid alcohol. Remind seniors to check with their doctors about any medications that might cause lightheadedness or dizziness.
Here are 4 tips when assisting in walking and balancing:
- Always offer your arm to help stabilize the person.
- If the person has a cane or a walker, keep these items handy at all times.
- When the individual walks down a set of stairs, make sure you walk in front of him or her. Likewise, when the person walks up the flight of stairs, always be sure to walk behind them.
- In helping clients up from chairs, place your arms in front of them and let them grab your arms as they pull themselves forward.
Many interesting studies have examined ways to help prevent falls and reduce the risk of injury from falls. Solutions have included core stabilization exercises and even padded hip protectors for those at higher risk.
Calling Home Helpers Home Care at 303-777-7870 can go a long way in helping to reduce the risk of falls and insuring you or your loved ones are safe at home this winter!