According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 37.3 million seniors fall each year and sustain injuries that warrant medical attention and many seniors, after a fall, begin a downward spiral in their health and ability. So, who is at risk of falling? There are some factors that correlate with who will fall:
Age – Older adults have the highest risk of death or serious injury from a fall. In the USA, 20% to 30% of older adults who fall sustain bruises, hip fractures, or head trauma.
When you couple increased age, decreased strength and / or balance and decreased cognition, with a living environment that is not adapted for an aging person, you get increased risk of falls.
Gender – Senior women and men are both at risk of falling. As we age, our bodies and minds usually change. Some include undiagnosed neurological, heart or other medical conditions, medication side effects, poor balance, inactivity, decreased mobility, decreased vision and decreased cognition.
It is hard when your mind wants to do something but your body just can’t anymore. Many older adults try to keep doing things the way they did for 50 years prior but there comes a time when it just isn’t safe anymore.
Successful aging includes realizing your limits and knowing when it is time to stop doing certain activities and start using assistive devices to make things you need to do safer. For example, if you loved to take baths for years and now you are older and it is difficult getting into and out of the bathtub, what should you do? Just keep pushing yourself, stumbling and having close calls until you actually fall and get hurt?
Someone who wants to have successful aging would realize that they no longer have the strength or balance to use the bathtub and they would either have their old tub removed and a new walk in bathtub installed or have the tub removed altogether and have an accessible shower installed with grab bars, a hand held shower head and a seat.
If you have difficulty getting up an down your stairs, don’t just struggle and get out of breath and need to recover after, have a stairlift or vertical platform lift installed and get up and down easy.
If you have aging parents, take the time to really see how they are doing and if you see them struggle with things they need to do for self-care or around the house tasks, don’t just turn a blind eye. Talk to them and don’t take “no” for an answer when you talk to them about making changes and adding safety equipment (grab bars, a stair lift, etc) to their home.
It is much easier to have us make their home safer than to have your parent injured, hospitalized, in rehab or need skilled care after they fell and now their life is changed forever because their home environment wasn’t set up for their current abilities and function.
Bell House Medical, The Home Of Master Grab Bar, is located on Coastal Highway in Lewes, Delaware. We sell medical equipment (rollators, walkers, wheelchairs, transport chairs, shower chairs, and more…) at our store and we install equipment to keep you safe (grab bars, stairlifts, vertical platform lifts, railings, ramps and more…)
Visit our store or give us a call 302-644-4404