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"50+ Ways to Prevent Falls"

Our goal is to help you to create a safe environment at home. We feel like education is key - that's why we provide this free fall prevention guide, and lots of other good ideas about independent living on our "Thrive!" blog.
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About This Free Fall Prevention Guide

Medical Care Alert offers this free guide to educate and inform families on ways to prevent falls. We want you to share this guide to your heart’s content. Please link or direct people to https://www.medicalcarealert.com/nofalls.

How can we prevent falls among the elderly?

To answer, we’ve gathered some of the best fall-prevention tips together in a single book to help caretakers, clients, friends, and relatives of those who are likely to fall. These tips will help you fall-proof your home and make it much safer for everyone who comes over.
  • Preventing falls among the elderly is a top priority for seniors and family caregivers alike.

As people age, their bodies are more prone to degeneration and falling. Bones become more brittle and have a higher chance of breaking. And, with more and more people over the age of 65 deciding to live independently, there is more of a chance that these people will be falling alone.

Let’s look at some statistics:

More than 33% of people aged 65 and older are involved in accidents and falls in the home each year – Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
The chances of surviving a fall are six times greater if you are found within one hour - Yale University School of Medicine
The ability to get immediate help boosts the odds that a senior will continue to live independently. - New England Journal of Medicine
Unintentional falls are a threat to the lives, independence and health of seniors. -- CDC - Preventing Falls Among Older Adults
When an elderly person falls, their hospital stays are almost twice longer than those of elderly patients who are admitted for any other reason.
Among people ages 65 to 69, one out of every 200 falls results in a hip fracture. That number increases to one out of every 10 for those aged 85 and older.
In people over the age of 65, falling is the leading cause of injury death, over 3 times more than motor vehicle collisions - CDC
In 2010, falling was the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for people between the ages of 25 and 65+ - CDC
Approximately 40% of people admitted to a nursing home had a fall in the 30 days prior to admission.

Be sure to read our free elderly fall prevention guide "50+ Ways To Prevent Falls" but you can also take these immediate steps to improve the safety of someone you love:

Make an appointment with your doctor
o Review medications - many medications interact and can lead to unintentional falls. Your doctor or pharmacist can review.
o Discuss fall history - if you've fallen, nearly fallen, or stumbled discuss it with your doctor. Knowing your fall history is important.
o Review health conditions – many falls are related to other conditions including the eyes, ears, dizziness, gait and other contributing reasons to a fall.
Keep moving
o Balance - poor balance is a major contributor to falls, and prevents you from recovering from a stumble that might not otherwise become a fall.
o Endurance - work on exercises that improve your endurance for breathing, and ability to recover from a fall or prevent shortness of breath.
o Strength - light workouts with weights can make you stronger and help prevent falls with better recovery skills
o Stretching - flexibility is key to maintaining balance and reducing stiffness. The more flexible you are, the less likely you are to fall.
Sensible shoes

o your shoes should fit correctly, with strong heels and comfortable grips. Many elderly falls are due to improper footwear that causes missteps and balance issues.
Remove home hazards
o Scatter rugs, cords, stacks of stuff. Clean up your area so that there are fewer fall triggers in the home.
o Clear pathways – move furniture, move stuff
o Non slip mats in bathroom and other hot spot areas or slick surfaces to prevent falls, especially when wet
Lighting
o Nightlights - illuminate rooms and hallways with soft nightlights to make it easier to see and prevent tripping and falling
o Flashlights - keep them handy for power outages or other reasons to shine some light on an area
o Snap-light - an easy to install night light that fits in your existing wall swithces and power outlests. Easy to install, great for preventing falls by providing more light
Assistive Devices
o Handrails on both sides of stairs - be able to grab on tight if you trip and fall on the stairs
o Non slip treads - so important in the bathroom where most falls among elderly occur
o Raised toilet seat - easier to get up and down, with side handles to provide stability and prevent falls
o Medical Alert System with automatic fall detection - sensors detect falls and initiate a call to the emergency response center
o Grab bars shower or tub - another thing to hold on to. Replace towel racks with grab bars for increased safety.
o Plastic seat for shower or tub with handheld shower nozzle - the more you can do to prevent falls in the shower/tub area, the better!

We hope you enjoy our fall prevention guide and will be able to use these tips to prevent falls among the elderly family memebers you love.