CDC reports that more than one out of four seniors fall annually. If your loved one has suffered a fall, there is a range of outcomes. With luck, all that is bruised is pride, but seniors are usually more delicate than the general population and one in five falls results in a severe injury, such as broken bones or head injury. One specific injury that’s often a result of a senior fall is a hip fracture. Over 300,000 seniors are treated for hip fractures every year and 95 percent of hip fractures arise from a fall. Com- plications of a broken hip in the elderly can be life-threatening. The risk is especially high for people with another health condition or a cognitive impairment such as dementia.
How can hip fractures be prevented?
- Ensure rooms are well lit. Lighting should not be too dim or too direct.
- Make sure light switches are accessible.
- Tack down or remove rugs and carpets to help prevent falls.
- Make bathrooms safe by adding a chair for bathing and skid-resistant mats in the shower. Install grab bars where needed. Ensure toilet seats are tall enough for easy transferring.
- Ensure chairs are stable and have armrests.
- Safeguard against fall hazards in the kitchen. Place a rubber mat in front of the sink and use non-slip wax on the floor. Organize frequently used items so they can be easily reached on low shelves.
- Install handrails in stairways and make sure steps aren’t slippery.
In conclusion, prevention truly is the “best medicine” when it comes to falls and hip fractures. Caring for an elderly loved one who needs help getting around the house safely can be a challenge. From an environment designed to minimize the fall risk to emergency call systems, senior assisted living homes offer a variety of safety features.