Do you have a loved one who is a little unsteady on their feet, has a history of falls, or is too “stubborn” to use a cane or rolling walker? Here is a quick list of tips to help keep their home as safe as possible.
Mary Lehnen, PT, DPT and Laura Flanigan, MSOT, OTR/L
Why is fall prevention important? Physical and occupational therapists frequently treat patients whose injuries were caused by a fall. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for adults who are 65 years and older. Falls can lead to serious nonfatal injuries, including fractures of the head and hip. A fall on an outstretched hand, also known as a “FOOSH” injury, can lead to fractures and soft tissue tears of the hand, wrist, forearm and even the shoulder. Falls can be emotionally traumatic to some patients and they may avoid participating in exercise, leisure and necessary daily activities due to fear of falling. This can lead to deconditioning, isolation and negatively impacting an individual’s overall well-being and independence.
The holidays are fast approaching! With all the yummy food and many miles to travel also comes time with our families. Many of us will visit our aging parents or grandparents, and amidst conversations around jobs or children, we may find ourselves hearing about an injury or fall that has occurred.