Every year, one out of four older adults falls in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). And, falls in the elderly is one of the chief causes of injuries and deaths in people ages 65 and older.
In most of the cases, elderly people fall in the home. They fall because of several reasons, including, muscle weakness, a stroke or the dizziness they experience after taking medicines.
Although, falls are very common in old age, a serious fall can cause life-threatening injury, such as hip fractures, or fatal head or brain injuries. Sometimes, a fall can become so terrifying for old people that they try to avoid doing certain activities because of the fear of falling again.
Therefore, it is essential to take proper fall prevention measures to keep your loved ones safe from life-threatening falls. Fortunately, there are a number of safety devices available that can be used to minimize the risk of falls or injuries from falling:
If you do not feel stable when you walk, your physical therapist might suggest that you get a walker. A right walking aid will assist in balancing your body as it has a wide base of support. There are different types of walkers available in the market. Be sure to select a walker that gives you the best level of stability.
If you can handle wheels, you can opt for wheeled walker. Some walkers also contain two wheels so that walkers may not roll away from you. If you often go outside your house, choose a walker that can be foldable for easy storage and transport. You can also add a tray, pouch or basket to carry food or other items in your walker. Before purchasing any walker, make sure that it is adjustable as per your height, weight and lifting capability. In case you easily get tired, you can choose rolling walker as they come with seats.
Reacher Grabber Tool:
Using a stool to grab things stored in high overhead places or bend down to pick up something can be risky for seniors. This tool allows you to take lightweight items from the high shelves and pick objects up off the floor without bending.
Life Alert Button:
For those seniors who live alone, medical alert devices like Life Alert systems can be a life saver. Many times, falls happen despite the preventive measures. It is also important to have a plan in place that allows the senior to access help readily. These small wearable devices enable you to summon emergency help when you fall and have difficulty get up. The basic system contains a life alert button that you can wear on a wristband or pendant, and a device just like a speaker phone that you can plug into the phone jack.
If you fall or get into any problem, you simply need to press the button to be connected with a monitoring center. Then, any operator from the center will talk to you and send paramedics if you need help. These operators are often trained to stay on the line until any help arrives.
In most of the cases, rushing to answer the phone leads to a harmful fall. But with the help of a portable phone, you won’t have to rush to answer it when it rings. The cordless phone is very handy and you can easily carry it from one room to another. Portable phones could also come in handy when the senior has fallen and need assistance. They can use it to call for help.
If you are having difficulty in walking or you feel shaky while you walk, or have fallen, a right cane or a walking stick is a perfect tool for you. A cane gives you support while you walk. However, before choosing a cane, make sure to keep its style and material into consideration. Different varieties of canes are available. Some are adjustable canes, but some are not.
Choose one that is easy to grip into and fits the shape of your hand. Mostly canes are lightweight and can be stored in a place easily. Center balance canes are extremely helpful for people with Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and joint problems. Don’t purchase a cane that is too short or too long. You can take advice from your physical therapist about which cane to choose.
These safety devices will help your loved ones stay safe and give them the independence and a sense of security. Although all these devices are safe to use, taking help from a physical therapist in choosing the right device might be useful.