According to a 2005 article in Harvard Health Publications from Harvard Medical School, in-home accidents are one of the leading causes of injury and death in the United States. The percentages of such accidents that prove fatal are significantly higher in the elderly population. People who are age 75 and older are four times more likely to die in a home accident than people between the ages of 65-74.
Falls can be dangerous for anyone, but with seniors, they can prove fatal. With appropriate senior home care Denver seniors can help identify and remove dangers that could lead to serious injury if they go unnoticed and uncorrected.
According to Dottie Roberts, a nursing instructor from the University of South Carolina at Columbia, seniors who fall often fracture bones be cause of brittle bones and osteoporosis. They are at a higher risk of injury from falls than the rest of the population.
Many seniors, too, take blood thinners such as Coumadin and risk internal bleeding from head injuries resulting from a fall.
For seniors living alone, falls present additional dangers from pressure ulcers as a result of lying too long in one position until help arrives. ”I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up,” quickly escalates to much more than a punch line for Saturday night comedy hour.
To help seniors avoid falls in their homes, a safety check is in order.
Potential fall hazards:
- Small rugs can trip a senior or cause him to slip and should be removed from the home.
- Extension cords often cause seniors to trip and tumble to the floor or against sharp-edged furniture or countertops.
- Stairs should be well lighted and have sturdy handrails as well as free of objects seniors can trip over.
- Bathtubs, showers and floors should be skid-proof. Grab bars near bathtubs and the toilet help prevent falls and aid seniors in safely getting up and down as needed.
- Step stools in kitchens should be sturdy and have handles appropriate to the needs of those using them. Otherwise, they should be put away. Items frequently used should be kept in an easily accessible place.
- As seniors age, their needs evolve. A trained team of caregivers can help identify potential danger areas in a home and check in on elderly clients. They can tailor their services to meet the needs of seniors as months and years go by, all geared to what individuals need at the time.
Professionals at GoldLeaf know that awareness and prevention help prevent accidents and falls that can cause serious injury and potential death. To learn how we can help with troubling situations you might be having, contact us for an assessment.