70% of Accidental Deaths in people over the age of 75 result from falls. 40% of all nursing home admissions are attributable to repeated falls at home. 25% of seniors who suffer hip fractures die within one year. Knowing the most common causes of falls will help you to take preventative steps. Some of the controllable factors that you can address include loose carpets, using stairs, poor lighting, and lack of bathroom safety equipment. Other causes might not be as easy to control but are important to be aware of including being on 4 or more medications, low blood pressure, low vision, peripheral neuropathy and weakness.
What Can You Do to Prevent Falls:
- Medications– Bring all medications that you are currently taking to your pharmacist to see if there are any medications affecting your balance
- Exercise for Strength– Physical therapy evaluation to set up a home PT program
- Bathroom Safety– Add grab bars, bath chair, hand-held shower & non-slip tub mats
- Trouble Transferring– Select chairs with arms that are not too low
- Dizziness When Standing– Rise slowly and count to 5, address low blood pressure, turn slowly with position changes
- Low Vision– Add nightlights in bathrooms and hallways, bright tape strips to the edge of each stair and keep a charged flashlight near your bed
- Throw Rugs– Remove or tape down.