Salt Lake City has one of the healthiest senior population in the USA. However, it still makes them vulnerable to falls and other related accidents. Close to 40 percent of seniors suffer a fall each year, and the majority of those falls could have been prevented with the proper safety measures.
An Ever-present Danger
Accidents take a harder toll on your body as you grow older. While an ordinary fall in your youth would cause little to no damage, a fall once you’ve passed, 65 can lead to whiplashes, hip fractures, or even death. In the USA alone, close to 10,000 seniors die from a fall-related injury every year. At age 65, your chances of suffering from a fall stand at 35 percent. Once you’re past 80, the risk of suffering a fall goes up to 50 percent. Falls have lingering effects on your body and once you’ve fallen, there’s a 66 percent chance that you’ll suffer another fall in the next six months. Not every fall leads to injuries, but the act of falling itself creates a host of problems. Almost half of all seniors that suffer from falls have difficulty getting up and lying on the ground for an extended period can lead to a myriad of complications.
Reducing the Threat
Falls might be unavoidable, but you can minimize their occurrence with the right measures. Get rid of loose rugs or carpets that can slip under your feet or get entangled with your walking aid. Pay close attention to your bathrooms as more than 80 percent of falls suffered by seniors take place in the bathroom. Add a few railings to hold on to, particularly near the toilet seat. You’ll be using it several times a day and sitting down and standing up requires a lot more balance and coordination once you’ve passed a certain age. Forego the showers, as soapy waters and slippery tiles are a recipe for accidents. Take your baths in a walk-in bathtub, where you can sit comfortably as you soak on water. During the nights, try to keep your corridors well lit or at least use one of those motion detectors that instantly turns on the light. Seeing where you’re going reduces the chances of accidentally stepping or bumping into something and falling.
Falling can be dangerous, especially if you live alone. Consider purchasing a medical alert system that can detect your fall and automatically alert emergency services or a nearby relative. These devices can be worn like a pendant or a wristband and can immediately identify any sudden fall. Quick response is essential in treating injuries, especially for seniors living on their own. These devices can send an alert directly once it detects a fall and they can also be triggered manually in case of other emergencies like break-ins or fires.
In the end, falling is a serious matter. Take measures to minimize your chances of falling, but also make sure that you can alert someone in case of emergencies.