How to Prevent Falls

wet-floorDid you know that falls are the leading cause of injury (both fatal and non-fatal) for older adults? In fact, the National Council on Aging reports that approximately one out of four Americans aged 65+ falls each year. Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated for a fall in the emergency room.

Falls can cause serious injuries, such as broken bones, head injuries, and hip fractures. These injuries can lead to increased medical bills and associated costs as well as a loss of independence in some cases; the average hospital cost for a fall injury is more than $30,000. The good news is, most falls can be prevented.

Risk Factors

Hazards in the home or community can increase the likelihood of a fall injury. Muscle weakness, balance, and gain problems have all been associated with falling, as has use of certain medications, generally those that have side effects such as sleepiness, dehydration, dizziness, or interactions with other medications. Chronic conditions and vision problems can also play a role. Also, many older Americans have been living in their homes for years and may not have considered some easy modifications to make the house safer.

Preventing a Fall

Whether you are providing or receiving care, it’s good to have a conversation about what you can do to help prevent falls. Is it time to consider replacing the old tub with a more accessible shower? Could you add lighting in the hallway to prevent nighttime falls? Do all rugs in the home have non-slip backing?

If you are an older adult, consider adding strength and balance exercises to your routine to help prevent falls. Staying physically active helps you stay independent and healthy. Talk to your doctor about any medications you may be taking and how they might impact your chances of falling. Have your vision checked regularly and keep eyeglass prescriptions up to date.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a fall, contact the Schuerman Law office today. Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.