Millions of elderly individuals suffer a slip-and-fall injury every year. It’s a common cause of injury in those over 65, and the majority of these injuries occur in your own home. A bad fall can lead to severe injuries that can stay with you for the rest of your life. But learning some facts about these injuries may help you to better understand and prevent these falls from happening to you. Keep reading to learn more.
Falls Can Cause Serious Injuries
As common as falls are, that doesn’t mean that they’re minor. The elderly are particularly susceptible to severe injuries as a result of a slip and fall. One out of every five falls leads to severe damage, such as a head injury or broken bones. Three million elderly individuals are treated in emergency rooms each year for fall-related injuries, and 800,000 of them end up hospitalized from these injuries (most commonly head injuries and hip fractures).
Common Causes of Falls
Numerous risk factors can increase your likelihood of falling and sustaining a severe injury. Some of these risk factors are related to your home, while others may be related to your health. Health conditions that increase your risk of falling include the following:
- Weakness in the lower body
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Balance issues
- Certain medicines that impact your balance (e.g., sedatives, tranquilizers, and even antidepressants)
- Vision problems
- Poor footwear
- Foot pain
Dangers in the home can also lead to falling. Common home hazards that cause falls include the following:
- Uneven or broken steps
- Throw rugs (especially unsecured ones)
- Lack of rails on staircases
- Slippery surfaces (e.g., shower stalls, bathroom floors, tubs, etc.)
- Poor lighting
While you may not correct all of the health issues that can be risk factors for falling, it is possible to restore the hazards around your home to reduce your risk of losing. Grab handles, walk-in tubs, railing on all staircases, and so on, can all help to make your home a safer place.
Where Falls Most Often Occur
As mentioned, most falls occur in the home. But what parts of the home are they most likely to happen in? Here are the most fall-prone areas of the home, in order from the most hazardous to the least:
- Living room and bedroom
Focus on improving these areas’ safety, especially the bathroom, to make it less likely that you’ll suffer a fall and subsequent injury. The bathroom can easily be improved with walk-in tubs, grab handles and other simple safety upgrades. Protect yourself from fall-related injuries, and make your home a safer place to live.