Former President Jimmy Carter, aged 95, recently suffered a fall at his home in Plains, GA. Unfortunately, the fall resulted in some injuries that landed him in the hospital for a brief stay. President Carter’s fall caused a fractured pelvis. In addition, he hit his head and needed 14 stitches above his eye. This wasn’t his first fall, though. Earlier this year, he fell and broke his hip. President Carter’s injuries aren’t uncommon. Many seniors who fall suffer fractures, cuts, bruises, and sometimes worse.
The statistics concerning falls in the elderly are concerning. They indicate a great need for caregivers to do whatever they can to prevent their older family members from falling. Some of the shocking statistics about falls are:
One out of every four people who are 65 or older falls each year.
- Every 11 seconds an older adult goes to the hospital for treatment after a fall.
- Falls are the top cause of fatal injuries in seniors.
- In 2015, falls cost $50 billion in the United States.
Ways to Prevent Falls
Although the statistics about falls are disturbing, there are plenty of things you can do to help your aging relative to avoid a fall. Some ways to prevent falls are:
- Deal with Fear of Falling: It’s common for seniors to worry about falling as they get older. Unfortunately, being afraid of falling can cause them to reduce their activity, which further increases the chances they will fall. Have a doctor assess the senior’s fall risk and suggest specific strategies for reducing them.
- Have a Doctor Review Medications: Some medications can cause dizziness or balance problems. Have the older adult’s doctor review their medications and ask if there are alternatives for those that have dizziness as a side effect.
- Fix Home Hazards: Take some time to look around your aging relative’s home for things that could lead to a fall. For example, loose rugs can slip and piles of clutter could cause them to trip. Look for loose or broken steps, cords that run across walkways, and missing handrails. Add grab bars to the bathroom and increase lighting in dim areas.
- Stay Active: A lack of exercise results in weakened muscles and a greater chance of falling. Seniors should be as active as possible, trying to exercise at least 30 minutes on 5 or more days of the week.
Another way to reduce an older adult’s risk of falling is to hire senior care. A senior care provider can assist with keeping the house free of fall hazards by keeping it cleaned up, so there is nothing to trip over. Senior care providers can also change light bulbs when they go out to keep the house brightly lit. In addition, a senior care provider can help to increase physical activity by going for walks with the older adult, holding their arm to prevent a fall.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE IS CONSIDERING CAREGIVERS IN CLAYTON, NC, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT SENIORS HELPING SENIORS TODAY. CALL (919) 761-5346.