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Preventing Falls

The primary cause of injuries, hospitalizations and deaths among the elderly are falls. In the United States, one of every three adults aged 65 falls each year. However, minimizing the factors that cause these accidents will decrease, and likely prevent, these incidents.

By Flora Tabaddor, MD
Corporate Clinical Director of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

To fall-proof your home, some factors to consider include:

  • Be sure you have adequate lighting, such as nightlights;
  • Firmly secure or remove rugs that are loose;
  • Clear all foot traffic areas and pay special attention to things you can trip over including electrical cords, toys, pets and furnishings;
  • Place needed objects within reach.

Other ways to prevent falls inside and outside the home include:

  • Wear non-skid footwear;
  • Avoid excessively long or loose clothing;
  • If using adaptive equipment, check with your therapist or nurse to ensure that it is properly adjusted and working correctly;
  • Use non-skid bath mat in tub or shower;
  • Discuss bathroom safety with a nurse or therapist;
  • Rise slowly when getting out of bed or a chair;
  • Avoid walking on wet or slippery surfaces;
  • Hold onto banister when using the stairs;
  • Have emergency numbers posted on or near each telephone;
  • Avoid leaning or supporting yourself on unstable objects.

Taking measures to prevent falls should be taken seriously. For more information, call toll free 1-888-238-4223.

Resources


For more information about falls in older adults, listed below are resources available to you:

New York State Department of Health
Bureau of Injury Prevention
518-473-1143
injury@health.state.ny.us

CenterLight Health System
1-888-238-4223
info@centerlight.org

 

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