Falls can be the source of severe injury and even death. According to the CDC, one out of five falls causes a serious injury, such as head trauma or broken bones. If you find yourself struggling to maintain your mobility in your senior years, you’re not alone. Over 2.5 million Americans are treated in emergency rooms every year for injuries related to falls. Head injuries and hip fractures cause the most hospitalizations.
How can you prevent a fall that could lead to such injury? Our experts at Bethany Village put together these seven tips for preventing falls.
- Remove obstacles. Try and keep obstacles like books, sports equipment, children’s toys, or other clutter out from underfoot.
- Maintain or improve mobility. Exercise is important, as we tend to lose mobility if we don’t engage in regular exercise. Here are some tips on how to maintain or even improve mobility in your 60’s and beyond.
- Make frequently-used items more accessible. Store items you use every day on low shelves or countertops so you can reach them without relying on a stepstool or ladder.
- Install non-slip mats. Non-slip mats in tubs, showers, and even in entryways leading in from the outside can improve traction and reduce the likelihood of a fall. Identify hazard areas and equip them with mats.
- Improve lighting. Poor lighting can be bad for your vision and mobility at any age, but seniors should be especially mindful of installing proper lighting. Vision tends to deteriorate over the years, and enhanced lighting can help you navigate your home more easily.
- Install handrails. Handrails are important safety features – not just for stairways, but also near tubs and toilets to make it easier to get up and down.
- Protect your feet. Wear shoes with good traction, whether you are walking indoors or outside. This not only helps prevent falls, but can also protect your feet, which are slower to heal as you age.
Implement these changes, and you can minimize your risk of falling, now – and in the future.