September 22nd is the first day of fall, and marks the 11th annual National Falls Prevention Awareness Week during September 21-25th. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older adults. According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), one-fourth of older adults aged 65+ fall every year. Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall, and every 19 seconds, an older adult dies from a fall.
The risk of falling at home is a genuine concern for retirees and their families. Many falls result in both physical and psychological damage for the person experiencing the fall. On the physical side, many seniors may suffer from brain injuries, hip injuries, and other fractures that can affect their health. For the psychological side, falls can cause fear of falling again. This fear of falling prevents older adults from enjoying life because they fear they may fall again or reinjure themselves.
By recognizing that a fall is not an accident, but a preventable event, Falls Prevention Awareness Week offers tips on how to prevent falls around the home through individual training, removing hazards, and implementing simple safety measures. Family members can help ensure the home is safe by evaluating the home, such as:
• Add a handrail to stairs
• Improve lighting
• Attach grab rails to tubs
• Remove area rugs that may pose a fall hazard
• Organize clutter
• Consider assistive devices such as chair lifts or shower chairs
• Suggest the use of a cane or walker
Falls Prevention Awareness Week is a great time to encourage loved ones to talk with their doctor about a fall prevention plan. Preventing trips and falls in a loved one’s home can be hard when families can’t always be there. One of our trusted caregivers can serve as another layer of protection in the senior’s home so they can keep on living independently and safely – right where they want to be. In addition to fall prevention, our caregivers can also perform duties like lighthouse keeping, medication reminders, meal prep, and much more. Contact us today for an in-home assessment.