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Fall Prevention Can Save Your Life

October 6, 2011 · No Comments

Falls are the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma. And while women fall more than men, men are more likely to die from a fall. The chances of falling and of being seriously injured in a fall increase with age. And, sadly for seniors, falls can also lead to the loss of independence. Falls that cause hip fractures or head trauma can make it hard to get around and even increase the risk of death.

According to the Fall Prevention Partnership of Solano County, a fall that requires hospitalization costs approximately $37,000. In a two-year span (2005-2006) 1,343 individuals over the age of 55 were hospitalized due to injuries from a fall. That translated into nearly $50 million in hospital-related costs in this county alone.

Fortunately most falls can be prevented, according to NorthBay Health at Home Occupational Therapist Carol Daum. “Most falls occur because of safety issues in the home or because the senior was trying to perform tasks beyond their limits,” Daum says. She works with seniors on preventing falls by using assistive devices correctly. For example, if you use a wheelchair, learn how to use the locking brakes. If you need a walker, keep it with you and slow down when you use it.

“Then if you fall, you can call for help.” Grab bars, devices that help you reach for objects and night lights are relatively inexpensive and available through home improvement stores.

She has assembled this list of tips to help keep your home a safe zone.

Bedroom and other living areas

Bathrooms

Closets

Stairways

Garage and Outdoors

Kitchen

Other useful tips

Tags: Lifestyle & Wellness

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