One of the most significant risks for older adults is falling at home. Those older than 60 years are typically most at risk for falls, and the risk of fatality increases exponentially with age. Unfortunately, falls are one of the leading causes of unintentional injury deaths worldwide. Experts have estimated that 684,000 individuals die yearly from falls, and over 3 million older adults receive emergency treatment each year for fall injuries.
As a result, fall prevention for the elderly at home is essential and can save you worry, money and potential health complications in the future.
Why Is Fall Prevention Important?
- Injury: There can be a high risk of injury from a fall that could require rehabilitation. A single fall can cause broken bones such as wrist, arm, ankle and hip fractures, and cause head injuries that may prove severe and even result in brain damage. A severe fall can even result in death.
- Multiple falls: Once an older person falls, the risk of future falls increases. Even a minor fall can result in a chain reaction of continual falls due to a lack of confidence in moving around. Many people become afraid after falling once and become weaker over time, thus increasing their chances of falling again.
- Reduced independence: As a result of falls, older adults may experience difficulty living on their own and require assistance with everyday activities. Those who have fallen in the past may avoid walking, shopping and participating in social activities. A lack of independence can have a broader impact on family caregivers if their loved ones require more intensive and regular daily care and observation.
Top Risk Factors for Falls
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Difficulty walking or balancing
- Lower body weakness
- Vision problems
- Foot pain
- Inadequate footwear
- Home hazards
- Certain medicines, like antidepressants, sedatives and tranquilizers
A combination of these risk factors is most often responsible for falls, and the greater number of risk factors a person has, the higher the chance they have of falling. However, you can also help mitigate these risk factors by making simple changes to your everyday life.
10 Tips for Preventing Falls at Home
Here are 10 of our top tips to reduce your fall risk at home.
1. Stay Active
2. Talk to Your Doctor
3. Have Your Eyes Checked
4. Wear Shoes
5. Make Sure You Have Enough Light
6. Clear Clutter
7. Add Handles and Grab Bars
8. Install Non-Slip Surfaces
9. Spend Time on One Floor
10. Try Physical Therapy
Consider Physical Therapy to Improve Mobility
About Blue Sky Therapy
Blue Sky Therapy delivers innovative physical, occupational, and speech therapy services in skilled nursing homes, assisted living facilities, home health care, in-home therapy, and outpatient therapy clinics. Blue Sky Therapy owns and operates nine outpatient clinics in Ohio, Florida, and Texas. Ohio locations: Akron, Mansfield, Marion, and Warren. Florida locations: Bonita Springs and Naples. Texas locations: Aubrey, Denton, Sanger.
Outpatient services are offered in three different settings: In-clinic, In-home, and via Teletherapy which allows for therapists to work with patients virtually at home instead of in the clinic.