The beauty of the autumn season may also present safety hazards for older adults, including season-related slips and falls. According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries for people over the age of 65. Luckily, there are proactive ways to prevent falls this autumn. Be prepared to prevent falls and potential injuries this autumn season with our helpful tips.
Be aware of slippery surfaces
While the season’s fall foliage is beautiful, leaves on the ground can also be dangerous falling risks for older adults. Be sure all walkways are clear of fallen leaves, which can become slippery when it rains. As the weather gets even chillier, snow and ice can pose further risks for dangerous falls. If your loved one lives at home, be certain they have access to melting salt to mitigate the effects of snow and ice on walkways. In independent living communities, residents receive landscaping and home maintenance services to ensure sidewalks are de-iced and snow is always shoveled in winter months to prevent hazardous falls.
Wear sensible shoes
Our choice of footwear can often be our first line of defense against dangerous falls. As we head into colder months, look for comfortable footwear that fits properly and offers plenty of traction to avoid slipping or tripping. Remember, wearing shoes with high heels or slick soles can be unsafe, even on carpeted surfaces.
Lighten up your living space
As summer transitions to fall, we experience shorter days and longer nights. With less daylight, older adults may be at risk for unexpected falls. If you have an older loved one who lives alone, do a walkthrough to ensure their home is equipped with plenty of light sources. For example, ensure that dark areas without natural light such as hallways, bathrooms, and bedrooms are well lit with night-lights. Installing a handrail and non-slip mats can also help prevent dangerous falls in bathrooms.
If you’re concerned about the safety of a loved one living alone, consider the benefits of independent living communities. Today’s independent living communities offer flexible living options designed to accommodate older adult’s unique needs and prevent the risk of dangerous falls. In the event of a fall or accident, residents of independent living communities have access to emergency assistance around the clock, providing greater peace of mind for both residents and their families.