In 2004, unintentional falls caused or led to 18,807 deaths. All age groups are vulnerable but older adults are most at risk. In fact, 80% of those receiving fatal injury are over the age of 65. Falls continue to be the major reason for injury-related death, injury and hospital admission for older adults.
Follow these tips to prevent slips and falls in your home:
- Keep the floor clear. Reduce clutter and safely tuck telephone and electrical cords out of walkways.
- Keep the floor clean. Clean up grease, water and other liquids immediately. Don't wax floors.
- Use non-skid throw rugs to reduce your chance of slipping on linoleum.
- Install handrails in stairways. Have grab bars in the bathroom (by toilets and in tub/shower.)
- Make sure living areas are well lit. We can all trip and fall in the dark.
- Be aware that climbing and reaching high places will increase your chance of a fall. Use a sturdy step stool with hand rails when these tasks are necessary.
- Follow medication dosages closely. Using medication incorrectly may lead to dizziness, weakness and other side effects. These can all lead to a dangerous fall.