Thursday, August 5, 2010

Reduce the Risk of Falling

If you’re like most families, falls are one of the top things you worry about with your aging loved ones. Falls are, in fact, the “second leading cause of injury-related deaths for people ages 65 and older, and are the most common cause of injuries and hospital admissions among the elderly” according to the Centers for Disease Control. (Source: CDC, NCHS. Mortality Data Tapes. Hyattsville, MD: the Center, 1998.) For many elders, falling and breaking a hip is one of their greatest concerns – too often, it spells the end of independence and mobility.

There are several simple things you can take to help prevent falls, including steps around the house (extra bright lighting, removing throw rugs, clearing pathways). Exercising regularly to maintain strength and mobility is also crucial to fall reduction. The CDC brochure has many more useful tips (also available in Spanish).

Even if you do all of these things, fall risk is still a concern. Consider one of the many fall alerts now available (like this one from Wellcore), that can identify a fall even the person cannot push the button. This is particularly useful if a fall is caused by, or causes, an unconscious episode. In that case, a fall detector that automatically summons help can save a life – a life that’s important to you.

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