Independent Living Doesn't Have To Be Risky
With statistics saying that more than 35% of fall-related hip fractures are fatal for seniors, individuals and their families should do all they can to minimize the risk of falling.
Here are tips a few to minimize falls:
*remove scatter rugs
*install motion-sensor lighting near stairs and in bathrooms
*place railings on both sides of stairs with anti-skid tape on any painted stairs
*place grab bars and a bathtub seat in the bathroom and tub
*use raised toilet seats or safety frames to make using the toilet easier
*use "reachers" (rather than stepping stools or ladders) to get items off high shelves
*purchase "night light" emergency lighting that kicks on during power outages
*minimize clutter (including stray shoes scattered around the home or near doors)
*avoid walking in stockings or socks on non-carpeted floors.
For those who travel or visit family, consider grab bars with huge suction cups that can be taken to friends' homes or on vacations to prevent falls when traveling, too.
If mobility is an issue, a transfer bench can be used to help someone move easily from a wheelchair to the tub.
For individuals recovering from a surgery or orthopedic issue, regardless of age, consider using a walker with a "tote bag" that allows hands to be securely placed on the walker instead of struggling to carry items.
Another safety suggestion includes communicating with a friend or loved one at a set time each day to confirm all is well. And, consider an emergency alert bracelet or necklace so your loved can immediately call for help if a fall does occur.
Finally, include regular exercise that will help with balance, strength, and flexibility. It is proven that weight-bearing exercise can increase muscles in people well into their 80s (and minimize bone loss related to osteoporosis).