Each year, nearly one-third of all seniors experience a fall. Although falling may seem like just another part of life, the potential health risks that a fall can cause rises drastically with age. In fact, one out of five falls can result in serious injury, such as broken bones, hip fractures, head injuries, or worse. Of those type of falls, nearly 70 percent happen within the home. Thankfully, there are many preventive methods that can be used. Here, we list three of the best ways to help fall-proof your home and lifestyle.
1) Don’t put off repairs.
It’s easy to put a necessary repair off until tomorrow, but there is a reason why the saying goes ‘tomorrow never comes’. Hazards such as loose floorboards or cracked tiles become extreme tripping and health risks. The longer they’re left un-fixed, the worse the danger becomes. While having the issues repaired now may seem like a nuisance, it’s not going to feel half as bad as the actual physical pain the hazards will inevitably cause later.
2) Accommodate to your needs.
Specific parts of the home, such as the bathroom, stairway, and kitchen, are places where people are more prone to falling. It is essential to make sure that these spaces are not only safe, but accommodate your specific needs. Stairways can have double handrails (one on each side) to assist with walking or stair lifts, if necessary. In bathrooms, bars installed above the bathtub or shower will help with support, and non-slip bathtub/shower mats or chairs will help reduce the risk of falling when bathing. In the kitchen, using step stools or reaching tools help with safely accessing high places.
3) Avoid wearing bifocals or multifocal glasses when not needed.
Multiple studies have shown that seniors wearing bifocal or multifocal glasses while walking, climbing stairs, and engaging in outdoor activities were more likely to fall than those who wore single focal glasses or no glasses at all. This is because bifocal and multifocal glasses’ lower lenses are created for magnifying. This causes the glasses to blur out far-distance objects near a person’s feet, such as steps or other obstructions on the floor. As a result, many seniors tend to trip more often while wearing bifocals. Many eye doctors recommend switching to a single vision pair of glasses to reduce the risk of falling when walking, going up stairs, or during outdoor activities.