Staying Independent: Making Home Safer for Older Americans

May is Older Americans Month! It’s a great time to think about ways to keep the older adults in your life safe, happy, and independent.

After all, the CDC reports that someone age 65 or older falls every minute of every day in the United States. Falls can lead to serious injuries, so any steps you can take to help prevent your loved ones from falling are important.

Proactive Ways to Reduce Fall Risk

Get a checkup: Health issues such as mobility problems and leg weakness can increase the risk of falling. Older adults should discuss their fall risk with a healthcare provider at their annual physical exam. Some medications and supplements can have side effects that affect a person’s ability to drive or walk.

Boost strength and balance: Regular physical activity can reduce fall risk for older adults. Exercising as little as three times a week can make a real difference. Walking briskly is excellent cardio, but it’s also important to work on strength and balance. The National Institute on Aging offers recommendations for exercises.

Make sure home is safe: From loose cords on the floor to faulty stair railings, staying home might not always mean being safe. Talk to the older adults in your life about making their homes safer. Are there loose steps or other areas that need to be repaired? Is the shower dangerously slippery? Does a lack of light make it challenging to navigate an area? Work together to identify and address home safety concerns.

See 20-20: Older adults should get their eyes examined each year. Vision concerns can increase the risk of falling. Multifocal glasses can increase the risk of falling on stairs or outdoors. If your loved one wears bifocals, trifocals, or progressive lenses, it’s especially important to work on balance to reduce the risk of falling.

If you or a loved one has been injured, 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.