Tripping on a rug or slipping on a wet floor is such a dangerous scenario for the elderly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states over 36 million of the elderly fall each year, leading to 32,000 deaths. Falls rank as the leading cause of accidental injuries among people 65 plus. This risk can pose a major effect on older adults’ quality of life, and for the US healthcare system, a major burden.
Consequences of falling can include scrapes, fractures, incomplete recovery, and death. Unfortunately, the risk of falling increases with age. Fear of falling can make elderly people avoid normal activities like walking, shopping at the grocery store, or participating in social settings.
The National Institute on Aging has some helpful tips to prevent falls:
- Staying Active – Helps keep muscles, joints, and ligaments flexible.
- Hearing and Seeing Test – Adjusting to new glasses or hearing aids can take time. Be cautious at first, but make sure to always wear them.
- Medicines – Some medicines can cause side effects like drowsiness or dizziness, which can be adjusted by a doctor.
- Sleep – Get a good amount of sleep every night.
- Stand Up Slowly- Standing up too quickly can cause blood pressure drops.
- Assistive Device (Cane/Walker) – Use an assistive device to help feel steady while walking.
The National Institute on Aging also recommends that elderly people carry a mobile phone or emergency response necklace, in case of being alone and falling.