Information that will change your journey
The leading cause of injury among those 65 and older is a fall. It's also one of the top reasons the elderly find them selves in assisted living or a nursing home. The CDC, Center for Disease Control, estimates that every 17 seconds a hospital emergency room will treat a senior as a result of a tumble. An even more sobering statistic is that in the next 30 minutes a senior will die from an injury sustained in a fall. With this staggering reality it is imperative that fall prevention and safety be ranked as a top priority. Elders’ homes and senior care communities must be adequately and repeatedly checked.
The bathroom is where most senior falls take place. Poor lighting, throw rugs, bath mats or absence of handrails, all contribute to this statistic. Tumbles can take place in homes and nursing facilities as well. Waking to use the restroom in the middle of the night can be treacherous if the path to the bathroom is obstructed, the lighting is dim, or the individual is on medication that can render them drowsy. It is crucial to anticipate the scenario that would cause a loved one to be up during the night. Sadly, the CDC reports that about 30 percent of adults over 65 who fall in the bathroom were either hospitalized or diagnosed with fractures. At times, compounding this issue is “sundowner’s syndrome.” Many elderly people suffer from increased confusion and forgetfulness after the sun sets.
Performing a safety inspection yourself, or by a Home Care Company or Occupational Therapist, will help ensure that hazardous conditions are exposed and rectified.
Begin home safety by decluttering. Prevention is a valuable asset. To begin your home assessment, use these helpful steps.
-Reduce tripping hazards by clearing paths
-Measure to see if hallways and doors are wheelchair or walker accessible
-Check that thresholds are flush with the floor, especially sliding glass doors
-Lower items on high shelves in the kitchen to eliminate the use of step stools
-Check floors for slickness or loose throw rugs
-Inspect gutters and yards for possible required maintenance
-Pets are a great comfort, but toys and food/water bowls can become hazardous
Fall prevention is vital, since a fall is one of the top three reasons the elderly are enrolled in assisted living or nursing homes. Anticipating a senior’s needs will reduce the number of individuals admitted into this type of housing and prolong their golden years at home.