According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, 20-30 percent of Canadian seniors fall each year with half of these accidents happening in the home. Falls are the leading cause of injury in those over 65, cost Canadians over $2 billion a year, and are responsible for 85% of elder hospitalizations related to injury.
Is your elder at risk? Yes! Find out how at risk they are by having them take the Fall Risk Quiz courtesy of JCC located below:
The Fall Risk Quiz
- Do I have throw rugs that are not adhered to the floor? o YES o NO
- Does my walkway have obstacles that may trip me? o YES o NO
- Am I dizzy when I first stand or turn/change position? o YES o NO
- Am I unsteady when I walk? o YES o NO
- Do I have a walker or cane? If so, do I use it consistently? o YES o NO
- Do I have trouble getting up from the toilet? o YES o NO
- Do I need hand rails/grab bars in the bathroom? o YES o NO
- Do I hesitate to ask for assistance, if needed? o YES o NO
- Do I have poor vision especially at night? o YES o NO
- Do I need a night light in some areas? o YES o NO
- Are my exits cluttered or obstructed? o YES o NO
How at risk is your elder? Surprisingly, answering yes to any of the questions above on the fall risk quiz makes them a HIGH RISK for falls.
While you can’t eliminate the risk of falls for your loved one, there are steps you can take to make their home environment safer for everyone.
- Make sure rugs are adhered to the floor.
- Clear all hallways, walkways, and floors of debris.
- Install hand rails or grab bars on stairs, in the bathroom, and even in hallways if needed.
- Install inexpensive night lights in hallways, bathrooms, and any rooms your elder may visit at night.
- Install additional lamps in rooms that are too dark for your elder to properly see in.
- Make sure exits and doorways are not blocked.
- Clean up any water or spills as soon as they happen.
- Look for any type of phone cord, lamp cords, tv cords, or water hoses that your elder could trip over and move them.
- If they use a wheelchair have them get in the habit of locking it in place before trying to get in or out of it.
- Make sure your elder’s bed is at a proper height that allows them to get in and out safely.
- Assist your loved one when they get up from the bed or when sitting, when walking if needed, in the restroom, and any other times they may need a steady hand. Encourage them to ask for assistance when needed.
For more safety tips for your elder, check out our post 5 Simple Tips to Prevent Falls in Seniors.
Photo courtesy if Miss Mirr’s on Flickr.