November is fall prevention month! Did you know that falls are the leading cause of injury for older Canadians? In fact, up to 30 per cent of seniors will experience one or more falls each year. They also account for 85 per cent of all hospitalization for Canadian seniors. Every day, 215 older adults will be hospitalized because of a fall. Children are also susceptible to falls because their coordination abilities have not yet developed.
Every year, partners band together this time of year to offer information and resources for seniors and loved ones to create awareness of this safety hazard and provide helpful tips to “Fall-Proof” your home. You can use this information to ensure that you and your loved one stay safe the whole year.
Fall Prevention: Tips for Preventing Falls
Making sure that you and your loved ones have a safe environment can be simple. You just have to take a hard look at your living space to determine where you may need to address potential hazards. Use the following tips to help decrease the occurrence of falls.
- Ensure Adequate Lighting
Older adults and young children may have poor eyesight and poor coordination, particularly in dimly lit areas. Be sure that you have adequate lighting throughout the house, at all times of the day or night. Older adults who may have dementia are particularly susceptible to confusion and misconceptions. Goodlighting will help address some of these issues.
- Create a Clear Walking Path
Take steps to ensure that well-traveled areas are free of hazards like electrical cords, loose rugs, and debris. Remove clutter from the floor and move tables and chairs to the side. The more that you have to walk around, the more likely you are to trip and fall. Be sure to clean up messes quickly as well.
- Install Grab Bars in Hazardous Areas
Bathrooms are particularly hazardous because of the potentially slippery flooring. Having a grab bar near the shower or bath and toilet can prevent falling in this dangerous area. Grab bars near steps (even if it is just one or two steps) is also a good idea. Anywhere that balance is essential is a good place to install a grab bar.
- Ensure that Carpeting and Rugs are Secure
Rugs and loose carpeting are tripping hazards. If possible, remove rugs or use non-slip mats throughout the home. You may also want to consider using double-sided tape to ensure that the rug stays in place. Keep carpets well maintained and address any loose portions and cut fraying carpets. You may also want to install a rubber mat or non-slip strips in your shower or bathtub as well.
- Engage in Exercise and a Healthy Lifestyle
As we age, our bodies get weaker, which can lead to balance issues and coordination problems. Getting regular exercise (even something as simple as taking a walk through the park) can help you keep strength in your lower body and increase balance. Exercising also improves mood and decreases stress, which can address other potential downsides of aging as well. Balance exercises and lower-body strength training are particularly important to prevent falls.
Getting Legal Help After a Fall
When falls happen outside of your home, such as in a public location or a care center, you may have a legal claim. Public areas should take extra precautions to prevent falls, just as you should in your home. If they fail to address these concerns, then they may be legally liable for your injuries. Find out more by calling the personal injury team at Diamond & Diamond. Our law firm is available 24/7 to discuss your insurance claim. Call 1-800-567-HURT now or visit our website to speak with a representative.