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CDC Reports Sharp Rise in Death from Falls

Jun 5, 2018 by Charles Grandelli

You may be aware that older adults are at an increased risk for falls. In the past, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that falls are the leading cause of injuries and deaths caused by injuries in seniors. Recently, the CDC announced that the number of deaths caused by falls has spiked sharply in the last few years. They say that between 2007 and 2016 deaths due to falls in people aged 65 and older went from 18,000 to 30,000. When they adjusted for the increased population of seniors, they discovered the numbers represented a 31 percent increase.

Seniors are at a greater risk for falls for a number of reasons. They may have poor balance, or chronic diseases may affect the way the move. And, the older a person gets, the higher their risk of falling is. Fortunately, there are a number of steps that can be taken to protect older adults from dangerous falls. Below are several ways you can prevent your aging relative from falling.

Encourage Exercise

Exercising regularly builds strength and improves balance. Tai Chi is considered an excellent form of exercise for improving balance. It involves a series of slow, focused movements that build leg strength and leads to greater flexibility and mobility. If your aging relative isn’t interested in trying Tai Chi, any form of physical activity is good for them. A senior care provider can drive the older adult to an exercise class, take walks with them, or monitor them while they exercise at home.

Schedule an Eye Exam

Poor vision can cause an older adult to trip over unseen objects or misjudge their steps. If the older adult hasn’t had an eye exam recently, a senior care provider can schedule an exam and drive them to it. 

Make Changes to the House

Some simple changes to the older adult’s home can prevent falls. Check for uneven or broken stairs and see that they are repaired. Install grab bars near the toilet and shower. Make sure that there are handrails on both sides of stairways. Increase lighting throughout the house to make it easier to see.

Remove Clutter

Clutter in walkways can cause older adults to trip and fall. A senior care provider can assist with cleaning up the older adult’s house, removing items that could be in the way. A senior care provider can also remove loose rugs that can be a tripping hazard.

Review Medications

Create a list of all the medications the older adult is on and ask the doctor to go over it with you. Find out if any of the medications can cause dizziness or balance problems. Ask if alternative medications are available.

Bring in Senior Care Providers

One of the most beneficial changes you can make to reduce the risk of falls for your parent is to hire senior care for them. A senior care provider can help your elderly parent up and down stairs, in and out of bed, taking walks and more. Senior care can also provide companionship and assistance to activities that will keep your senior engaged, which may reduce their risk of trying to move about on their own with a mobility problem and increase their risk of a fall.

Sources

https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2018/falling-deaths-surge-for-elderly.html?intcmp=AE-HP-TTN-R2-POS2-REALPOSS-TODAY
https://www.everydayhealth.com/longevity/future-planning/prevent-falls-at-home.aspx
https://www.ncoa.org/healthy-aging/falls-prevention/preventing-falls-tips-for-older-adults-and-caregivers/6-steps-to-protect-your-older-loved-one-from-a-fall/
https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0922-older-adult-falls.html
https://www.ncoa.org/wp-content/uploads/Tai-Chi-for-Falls-Prevention.pdf

If you or an aging loved-one are considering in-home senior care in Carmel Valley, CA, please contact the caring staff at Comfort Keepers today! Providing expert, loving, in-home care services. Proudly serving seniors in the Monterey Bay area. Call (831) 886-0475.

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