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Fall Prevention Awareness Day: What Seniors, Caregivers Need to Know

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 23 September 2011

Today, September 23rd, is Fall Prevention Awareness Day – appropriately tied to the first official day of the new season.

Although fall prevention efforts should be made year-round, a change of season is a good time to remind caregivers and older adults of the risks associated with falls – and simple prevention tips to integrate.

Falls are not limited to those seniors who live at home alone, or even exclusively among seniors. They can occur in assisted living homes, independent living apartments, and other senior care facilities. Also, caregivers (both family members and professionals) can suffer falls in the midst of providing care (i.e. during a transfer from bed to wheelchair, etc.).

Dr. Rein Tideiksaar, a gerontologist, geriatric physician’s assistant, and owner of a consulting company called FallPrevent, shared fall prevention facts and tips in a recent post on eCareDiary.com.

Changes in the body (poor vision, low blood pressure, effects of medications) and environmental hazards (clutter in the home or senior living apartment, too many rugs of varying textures and pile heights, slick surfaces) certainly increase fall risk.

But for some, a fall is indicative of another problem: pneumonia, a bladder infection, or other illnesses can lead to an uptick in the threat of fall-related injuries. If your loved one suffers a fall (for an unidentified reason), you may want to schedule a doctor’s appointment to rule out the possibility of an underlying illness.

Check out our Fall Prevention checklist here.

There are 2 Comments about this post

  1. Candice says,

    I went through the whole “fall” experience with my mom 2 years ago and it was awful – while I was at work, she was coming down my staircase with a basket of laundry and missed a step. When I got home, 3 hours later, I found her still stuck at bottom with a broken ankle on one foot and sprained one on the other. Since then, her mobility has sometimes been restricted so another fall is something I worry about. The first thing I did to help avoid this was to stop her from helping with the upstairs laundry! Second, I actually purchased a special senior cell phone for her to use in case of emergencies — I don’t her to only depend on landlines. The SVC phone I found for her actually comes equipped with a 911 locating feature that can help find her in an emergency situation if the phone is one. Also, I made sure to program all of my numbers and my partner’s just in case she needed to reach us. Finally, I bought a lanyard for the phone so she can wear and always keep it close by. Having something dependable and easy to use like SVC may not be the best option for her, but in case of an emergency or another fall, I feel better about providing a way for us to keep in touch.

     

    on 26 September 2011 / 8:52 PM

     
  2. Thanks for relaying your experience, Candice! I hope your mother is doing well, and she is fortunate to have a daughter like you taking care of her. It sounds like you made all the right moves in terms of ensuring her safety/preventing falls from here on out. I’m sure others who read our blog and see these comments will find your recommendations valuable and can perhaps identify with your situation too. Thanks so much for stopping by the blog and sharing your thoughts!

     

    on 27 September 2011 / 10:52 AM

     
 

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