Many older adults would like to remain independent, living in their own residences. But aging puts people at risk of falls and injuries. According to the CDC, approximately 36 million falls are reported each year among older adults. Of those falls, one out of every five results in injury for example broken bones (CDC, 2022). By taking a few precautions, older adults can reduce their risk of falls and injuries.
Here are some important tips:
Wear properly fitting footwear with non-skid soles for support and traction.
If an assistive device has been prescribed, keep the assistive device within reach and use it while walking.
To further reduce the risk of falls, remove any throw rugs. Throw rugs look nice but can be a tripping hazard or if the backing wears off can result in a slip.
Keep walkways free from clutter, cords, and oxygen tubing, to lessen the chance of tripping. Arrange each room so that you can get around easily.
Apply textured strips or place a non-skid rubber mat in the tub or shower. Install a grab bar in the tub or shower, too. Use bathmats with non-skid backing next to the tub, shower and sink.
Remember to watch out for the pets.
Install grab bars and handrails to provide stability and assistance when standing and walking.
Keep a cell phone within close reach. Program your emergency contacts so they can be easily notified.
Consider purchasing a home alert necklace.
Have someone check in on you daily or periodically throughout the week.
Use nightlights to illuminate walkways and rooms.
Keep a flashlight with fresh batteries in a bedroom drawer.
As a patient of The Elizabeth Hospice, your care team will evaluate your home for potential hazards and suggest changes that will reduce the risk of injury.
To learn more about The Elizabeth Hospice and how we support patients and their families, please call 800.797.2050.