4 Tips to Prevent Senior Falls

June is National Safety Month, and one of the best ways to keep seniors free from harm is to educate them about fall prevention. Age is a significant risk factor contributing to falls with the World Health Organization confirming seniors occupy the highest risk of death and severe injury. Further research suggests 80 percent of senior-related falls occur in the bathroom with tumbles, in general, accounting for the most common cause of traumatic brain injury in every stage of life. Fortunately, several approaches can be taken to increase safety and reduce the financial costs associated with fall-related injuries. Below are 4 tips to prevent senior falls.

1.    Identify Health-Related Risk Factors

Often times, reducing fall risk involves an adjustment of medications, treatment of low blood pressure or correction of visual challenges. Talk with your doctor to identify possible risk factors. Your healthcare provider should be able to evaluate your needs and make the necessary changes to lower your fall risk.

2.    Wear a Medical Alert System

Medical alert systems offer a quick, easy way for individuals to get the help they need before or after a fall. Making a decision on the best medical alert system depends on several factors. Lutheran SeniorLife’s SilverSmart™ Technology program in conjunction with VNA, Western Pennsylvania’s Home Safety & Telemonitoring can evaluate various device features and potential costs to determine the best choice for you.

3.    Practice Tai Chi

A 2018 study published by the Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation found that exercises, such as tai chi, not only improved senior balance but reduced the fear of falling in community-dwelling older adults. This is due to constant weight shifting and multi-directional stepping as well as the level of concentration needed to carry out the movements. Inquire with Passavant Community’s fitness center staff to learn more about their full line-up of classes.

4.    Make Your Home Safe

Earlier, we touched base on a vital statistic connected to bathroom-related falls. This figure can be reduced by mounting grab bars near toilets, bathtubs and showers. Slip resistant tiles and efficient bathroom lighting are also beneficial solutions. Our Home Safe Home program can perform home safety assessments and coordinate installations of recommended safety equipment to best suit your needs.

Lutheran SeniorLife recognizes the need to spread awareness about senior falls to elders and caregivers alike. Following these 4 tips to prevent senior falls could mean the difference between a severe injury and a longer, healthier life. In honor of National Safety Month, let’s ease the complications of senior-related falls and increase the opportunities for independent and secure experiences.