Falls a leading cause of lost elderly independence

A 2008 study by the American Geriatrics Society suggests that complications resulting from falls are a leading cause of death among the elderly. And most falls occur within the home and are preventable, AGS member Dr. Cheryl Phillips told the Washington Post. Overall about one in three Americans over 65 suffer from a fall each year, the study found, and roughly a third of those falls require some sort of medical treatment.

Phillips told the Post that she advised caregivers to do a thorough walkthrough of the elderly person’s home to identify possible dangers:

  • Removing loose carpets/rugs, and putting non-skid backing on rugs that may cause tripping.
  • Around the house, encourage the elderly person to wear shoes, socks and slippers with non-skid soles.
  • Use nightlights to illuminate dimly lit areas that are potentially hazardous.
  • Remove clutter and low furniture from in and around the house.
  • Make sure existing handrails are sturdy and install new handrails at stairs entering the house.
  • In the bathroom, install grab bars near the toilet and in the tub or shower. Also add no slip decals or mat in the tub/shower.

Falls can lead to fractures and trauma, leading to hospital stays and physical disabilities. Many elderly people are afraid of falling, so prevention is key to helping them live life independently and to its fullest.

Senior care providers, such as Encompass Senior Solutions, offer expert advice on what to do if and when your elderly loved one falls. All Encompass services are directed by registered nurses or licensed clinical social workers with no long-term contracts.

If you are concerned your elderly loved one is at risk fall falling and they live in the Omaha, Nebraska area, contact us today.

“Encompass Senior Solutions solves the challenges families face in caring for aging parents, with a focus on strategies that keep them in their homes. To learn more about our solutions, visit http://www.encompass-assessments.com.”