The Centers For Disease Control reports that each year one out of three persons over the age of 65 fall.  Less than half tell their doctor.  Statistics on falls include: one out of five falls causes a serious injury, over 700,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall injury, each year, 250,000 older people are hospitalized for hip fractures, and adjusted for inflation, medical costs for fall injuries are $34 billion annually. [i]


As seniors age, they may have difficulty walking or lose their sense of balance.  They may have dizzy spells.  Vision problems are a cause of falling.  And of course, there are home and other hazards.


Some suggestions to prevent falls are:


  • Have eyes checked annually, more often if you notice vision problems;
  • Do strength and balance exercises.  Many senior centers offer Tai Chai classes;
  • If having balance issues, use a cane or walker;
  • Put railings on both sides of stairs, indoors and outdoors.  You may want to look into installing a ramp outdoors instead of stairs;
  • Make sure all railings are sturdy;
  • Add grab bars in tub and shower and next to toilet.  Substitute grab bars for towel racks;
  • Install railings in long hallways and other areas where there is nothing to grab onto;
  • Make sure the home has lots of light and light switches in heavily trafficked areas.  Falls often are caused by tripping over something in the dark;
  • Train pets not to walk in front of or brush against a person walking, also not to jump on a senior when standing or bending;
  • Remove all “trip hazards”, i.e., electric cords strung across a walk area, paper clips, rubber bands, papers, TV remotes, dishes and beverage holders, canes lying on the floor, or any other items the senior might not see and which would cause a trip or fall;
  • Talk to seniors about not climbing or using ladders when alone;
  • Make sure floors are not slippery and all spills are wiped up promptly;
  • Check all area rugs and runners to make sure they will not slide or roll up;
  • Keep all outdoor walkways free of rainwater, ice and snow;
  • Always walk close enough to a senior to grab his or her arm if necessary to prevent a fall;
  • Finally, when using stairs, a more fit person should always walk behind a senior when going upstairs; ahead of that person when going downstairs.  If the senior should fall, the more able person would thus be able to prevent the fall from being more than a couple of stairs.


If you have any questions, call us at (716) 648-2273.  We would be happy to provide a free safety evaluation.  We also have caregivers available to assist seniors in order to prevent falls.  Remember, our aim is to be the best in Western New York.  We strive for that and are proud of the service we provide.












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