With the change of seasons comes an important safety reminder for our local seniors.
The statistics on falls among older Americans is staggering. Falls are the top cause of injuries, hospital visits, and death among those 65 and older, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One out of three seniors falls each year. Those numbers could decline if families took steps to make their homes safer, says Synergy Home Care, a national non-medical home care agency with offices in Irvine, which offers free in-home safety assessments.
Some fall-averting home safety tips include:
Paint or place bright tape on the edge of steps so seniors can see where one step ends and another begins.
Provide handrails on both sides of stairs and grab bars in bathrooms.
Install light at the top and bottom of stairs and throughout halls.
Paint the bottom basement step white to make it more visible.
Secure rugs to the floor to prevent tripping.
Attach non –slip strips to the bottom of slippers.
On the outside, check steps and walkways for loose bricks, cement or stone.
Personal safety tips include:
Fall prevention research has demonstrated that wearing supportive footwear can reduce the risk of a fall. While slippers may be comfortable and convenient, they do not provide proper foot support to the foot, are often loose fitting and can easily slip off and cause a senior to fall.
Seniors should have their vision checked at least once a year. Consider a pair with single vision distance lenses for activities such as walking outside.
Medications can contribute to falling since many of them cause drowsiness and dizziness as a side effect. Let healthcare providers know if you notice a senior experiencing either of these after taking their medications
Exercise is a necessity to increase strength and balance. Even those with physical limitations can perform simple exercises while seated such as ankle circles, toe and heel raises.
Water is recommended for hydration over caffeinated drinks such as coffee and tea.
Synergy’s local office: 949-753-1085