Fall Prevention Planning is Important to Caregivers
Fall prevention planning is a worthy consideration for those who care for a loved-one. No one is planning to fall today, but you could be the one who does, or it could be your loved one who falls. Why?
Because fall prevention does require planning, and planning requires you to think ahead and see the fall hazards around you. Just a little fall prevention planning could save you from serious injury or death.
Every 11 seconds in the U.S., a senior is treated in an emergency room for injuries suffered in a fall. Every 19 minutes, a senior dies from injuries resulting from a fall, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Falls are really serious, and they are also largely preventable.
Where are you now?
Wherever you are, be aware that there are fall hazards around you.
In your kitchen, what are the hazards that could cause a fall? Do you have a wet, slippery floor around the sink or dishwasher? Is there a spill left on the floor around the fridge? Water puddles and slippery surfaces are the most likely cause of falls there.
In your bedroom, are there electric cords from lamps, radios or hair dryers lying in your path? Maybe the bedspread that hangs off the bed and onto the floor could tangle in your feet and cause a fall. Shoes left in unexpected places are fall hazards. Fall hazards in the bedroom are most likely the things that block your walking path.
Do you have unlit, dark stairways in your home or outdoors? Lighting around steps and stairs is absolutely necessary in the daytime or at night. Proper lighting directed from above and at the bottom of the stairs can make difference for a senior who is walking up one or two steps or climbing a whole flight of stairs.
The bathroom is where most falls occur. It’s because there are many wet, slippery surfaces there. Often, in the bathroom, we are occupied with other tasks, and are vulnerable to injuries from sharp corners and hard surfaces. We may have no handholds there.
Fall prevention planning may take some effort. But it’s worth it. Today, make some time to use the checklist in this downloadable brochure on safety to check for fall hazards around your home and make changes to prevent falls for you and your loved ones. See this brochure from the CDC:
Fall Prevention day is held annually on the first day of fall. This year the theme is 10 Years, Standing Together to Prevent Falls. Since 2008, the campaign conducted by the National Council on Aging has grown implementation in 48 states and the District of Columbia. The National Council on Aging provides fact sheets, videos, physical activity guides, etc. all aimed to help seniors prevent falls in their environments.