According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one of our every three senior Americans (age 65 or older) experiences a fall. According to experts, falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries and emergency room visits for seniors. The CDC reports that 20-30% of seniors who fall suffer from injuries such as head injuries, his fractures, broken bones, or lacerations. Seniors are more at risk because they tend to have pre-existing age-related ailments and because their balance and strength may be affected by inactivity over the years.
Unfortunately, for seniors, slip and fall accidents in Hollywood can become a cyclical problem. Once seniors experience a fall, they may experience injuries that increase their risk of a fall. At the same time, they may want to move less and may become less active because they fear falling, and this can cause them to increase their risk of falls.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reports that there are many things that seniors and caregivers can do to help reduce the risk of falls:
1) Speak to a doctor about any symptoms which can increase the risk of falls. Symptoms such as weakness, dizziness, and other problems can be the sign of a serious ailment, and getting prompt medical attention is important. Treating symptoms is also important for helping to prevent falls.
2) Get regular exercise. When speaking with a doctor, seniors should discuss exercise programs that can help them gain strength, mobility, and flexibility. Staying active ensures that muscles stay strong, reducing the risk of falls. If you are taking part in any higher-risk activities such as bicycling, use a helmet. If you are in a bicycle accident in Hollywood, a helmet can protect you against a head injury.
3) Check medication regularly with a doctor or pharmacist. Some medications cause dizziness or other side effects that can increase the risk of a fall. Medications can also interact with each other and cause new side effects, which is why regular reviews are important.
4) Keep floors in your home clear. Use non-slip backing on rugs or carpets or get rid of them entirely. Install non-slip strips in the bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and any area where floors can get slippery. In addition, keep pathways through the home clear of debris, small items, and low furniture which can pose a tripping hazard.
5) Keep everyday items at waist level. Having to bend over for items can cause dizziness and falls. Having to climb on a ladder or stepstool for an item can be even more hazardous. Each year, people sustain head injuries in Hollywood and across Florida because they fall from chairs and ladders.
6) Install good lighting in the home, including by the bed. Good lighting can make it easier to see the floor and any hazards on the floor.
7) Install grab bars in the tub, shower, and by the toilet if mobility is an issue. They provide support for those who need it.
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