Did you know that one in four individuals aged 65 and over fall each year? In fact, every 11 seconds, older adults are treated in the emergency room as a result of a fall. In addition, every 19 minutes, those who experience a fall are fatally or seriously harmed, which can lead to lengthy time in a hospital as well as recovery. Even without incurring physical harm, a fall can trigger depression, apprehension and fearfulness.
While these statistics are certain to alarm, it’s good to know that most falls are avoidable, and can be prevented. With a simple review of the following fall risk factors you can prevent falls and remain healthy, active and independent:
MEDICINES: Many medicines taken have side-effects such as dizziness, dehydration and confusion leading to a possible fall. Make sure to review all medication with your physician. By doing so, medications that possibly contribute to falls as a side effect should be reviewed and discussed with your physician.
EXERCISE: It’s important to exercise on a regular basis to increase muscle strength and muscle tone. A sedentary and/or non-active lifestyle can contribute to fall risks. Also take extra precaution when you transition from one position to another to reduce your fall risk.
VISION: Take care of your vision and have a timely eye exam. Adding color and contrast to objects such as grab bars and handrails make them more visible and easier to utilize.
ENVIRONMENT: Surveying your current environment is key. If some areas in your home, apartment or living space are too dark and in need of extra lighting make sure to add more lighting to aid in the navigation process. It’s also important to remove loose rugs, and add railings or grab bars in stairways and bathrooms to decrease hazards in the home.
CHRONIC CONDITIONS: Many older adults have chronic conditions that promote fall risks. Next physician visit, gain a better understanding of your ongoing healthcare plan, and learn how to read the signs of your illness to better manage your risks.
If a fall does occur, you may need more support than what in-home or out-patient rehabilitation offer after a hospitalization. That is when you can take advantage of in-patient rehabilitation facility, like a skilled nursing facility, with 24-hour nursing staff and therapists. Skilled nursing facilities, such as O’Neill Healthcare, are able to provide therapy seven days a week, and we have specialists and attending physicians who perform daily rounds. With this type of care, you’ll be under the careful watch of trained professionals who will aid in a faster recovery process.
At O’Neill Healthcare, we are committed to achieving the maximum level of recovery and rehabilitation for our residents. This serves as our primary goal. We promote short-term admissions and encourage residents to return home as soon as they are safely able to do so. Prior to discharge, a home visit can be arranged to assess a resident’s surroundings and promote a safe environment.
To find out more information about fall prevention and in-patient rehabilitation at O’Neill Healthcare, please call 440-808-5500.