Prevention is key to avoiding falls for seniors who live alone

Mar 23rd, 2014

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Category: Blog

Prevention is key to avoiding falls for seniors who live alone

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three seniors over the age of 65 will fall every year. Injuries from these falls are often worsened because of already poor health, bone brittleness, and the time it can take for a family member, friend, or neighbors to find a fallen senior if they cannot stand up again on their own. The key to preventing serious injury from a fall is preparation.

The first, and easiest, step for preventing falls is to get rid of clutter around a house. Falls often occur because items are not put back where they belong or newspapers and mail pile up around the house. But most clutter isn’t usually caused by laziness. It’s often caused by a lack of mobility or energy. Seniors who live alone will increasingly leave things lying around the house because they no longer have the ability to spend half an hour per day straightening up and putting things where they belong.

Another simple preventative solution is to take regular vitamin D and calcium supplements to prevent bone loss and brittleness. Falls may not be entirely avoidable, but everyone can certainly take steps to make sure that, if falls happen, the resulting injuries are as minor as possible. Calcium chews and vitamins that are easy to swallow are easy to find in any grocery store or pharmacy.

A fall-prevention tactic that many people overlook is regular appointments with the eye doctor. A senior who cannot properly see obstacles is at risk for falls even if their house is clean and clutter-free. But a senior who has never had to wear glasses in the past or who swears they only need them for reading will be reluctant to ask for help or suggest that glasses are needed. Regularly scheduled eye appointments remove the need for anyone to have to ask about vision impairment and avoid an argument between a senior living alone and a loved one who is trying to care for them.

All of these preparations will reduce a senior’s risk of a fall, but the risk can never be entirely removed. If a senior lives alone and does not receive regular visits from family, friends, or neighbors, periodic in-home care may be able to provide that extra layer of assurance to be sure that a senior will never be the victim of a fall in the home.

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