One in four seniors suffer a fall each year and nearly half of people age 65 or older sustaining a fall do not resume independent living. Connecticut's homecare experts at Assisted Living Services, Inc. (ALS) have seen firsthand the threats to personal safety that the elderly encounter on a daily basis in their own homes. During National Falls Prevention Month in September, ALS is sharing ways to create a safe environment and utilize new smart home and personal technology.
"The unfortunate reality is that some of our clients are hospitalized after a moderate to severe injury and are unable to return home," said Mario D'Aquila, MBA, COO of Assisted Living Services, Inc. in Cheshire, Fairfield and Clinton. "We work with families to prevent these accidents in the first place by providing a complimentary home safety assessment at any residence in Connecticut.
D'Aquila explains an experienced senior home care specialist uses a Quality Assurance Checklist to evaluate the living situation and identify areas of weakness, then makes recommendations such as reducing clutter and installing hand rails, to effectively lower the risk of falls. Specific technological devices from sister company Assisted Living Technologies, Inc. (ALT) may also be recommended after completion of the evaluation.
D'Aquila addresses the top causes of falls and how to prevent them:
Slips and trips can be prevented by wearing proper footwear, wiping up spills and how to buy hospital beds for home cleaning excess messes, removing cords and hazards like scatter rugs, providing adequate lighting at nighttime and using bathroom safety devices properly.
Physical inactivity can actually lead to more falls! Participate in exercise or activities that improve balance.
Medications may have side-effects that can lead to falls such as blood pressure, sedatives, diuretics, anti-depressants, and pain medications, need to be discussed with a doctor, who may be able to make adjustments or provide advice to reduce symptoms contributing to a fall.
Poor vision can be prevented by getting an eye exam, potential cataract surgery, and avoiding the use of multifocal glasses when ambulating.
Improper use of assistive equipment such as canes, walkers, wheelchairs and others. Make sure the person is trained to properly and safely use equipment by their doctor or medical equipment specialist.