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Fall Prevention-Environmental Risks

Fall Prevention-Environmental Risks

“I’m still falling for you,” she joked, shortly after stumbling and tumbling to the ground while leaning over to kiss her husband of 60 years. We can appreciate her quick sense of humour – however, the serious reality is that falls are a major cause of injury and death for seniors. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, one out of 5 falls results in broken bones or head injury. More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling, and falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injury. The various risk factors can be categorized into socioeconomic, behavioral, biological and environmental risk factors. They are complicated and often inter-related. For instance, some medication interactions may make an individual more vulnerable to environmental risk factors that could be present. This article will focus on only one of the risk categories, the more common environmental risk factors that can be readily identified and addressed. Below are some tips to make your interior and exterior areas just that much safer. Home Environment Clear all passage ways!  Reduce clutter and make sure walk ways are clear and well lit.  Decorative plant stands or tables should be moved away from all traffic areas. Remove mats that cannot be firmly secured to the floor. For those mats that are secured to the floor, check regularly to ensure that edges and corners are not lifting or curling. Check carpets for wear, ripples, or worn threads. Make sure all electrical cords are tucked away from any traffic or common passage areas.   Hand rails and grab bars.  Stairs should have hand rails...