As one ages, it’s necessary to become familiar with fall prevention in the elderly. Whether you need to learn more about this for your own safety, or for the safety of loved ones, knowing more about the causes of falls in seniors can help you prevent them.
That’s exactly what I’m going to cover in this post. I will identify some of the most common causes of falls in seniors, and go over safety considerations for preventing those types of falls. By the end of this article, you will be that much more educated about fall prevention in the elderly.
Fall Prevention in the Elderly: Common Causes of Falls in Seniors
Most falls are preventable once you know what causes them. Falls often occur in one’s own home, which means you can put necessary measures in place to ensure safety.
Going Up and Down Staircases
One of the top places where major falls occur is staircases. We specialize in preventing falls while going up and down stairs by offering the best stair lifts on the market. If it’s in your budget, a stair lift is the number one way to prevent falls on staircases.
Regularly maintaining stairs is also recommended. That means regular cleaning and vacuuming. It’s even better if you can secure your stairs with a non-slip surface.
A well-lit staircase is important in order to stay safe while going up and down stairs at night. You should be able to turn lights on and off with switches at the top and bottom of the stairs. For added protection you could use portable, motion-activated lights in stairwells without adequate lighting.
Any room in the house where water could come into contact with the floor poses a potential risk for falls. This primarily includes the kitchen, laundry room, and bathrooms. Adding a non-slip surface can prevent falls on slippery floors.
Water on floors isn’t the only thing to worry about when it comes to preventing falls in the elderly. Rugs are a hazard as well. All area rugs should be securely fastened to the floor to ensure they can’t be tripped over.
Overextending one’s reach is another one of the main causes of falls in seniors. Frequently used items should be stored on shelves that are easy to reach.
If absolutely necessary, ensure there’s a step stool with a safety rail in the home for reaching items higher up.
Storing heavier items on the lowest shelves is also recommended. This helps prevent falls that could occur from being overwhelmed by the weight of an item.
Of course, falls can and do occur outdoors as well. Outdoor falls can be prevented with a number of different devices. We recommend reading our guide on mobility aids to learn more about that.
Fall Prevention in the Elderly: Conclusion
Stairs, slippery floors, and trying to grab items out of reach are some of the most common causes of falls in seniors within the home. For more information about how to prevent falls outdoors please refer to our guide on mobility aids linked to above.