Falls are the leading cause of death in America for the elderly.  Statistics show that 50% of persons hospitalized after a fall will never be able to live independently again.  Of those hospitalized, only 50% will be alive one year later.  Also, many seniors after suffering a fall will isolate themselves from social situations due to the fear of falling again.

Health issues that may cause walking and/or balance concerns include the following:

  • Cognitive impairment for poor safety awareness.
  • Side effects from medications.
  • Dehydration and lack of a nutritious diet.
  • Inner ear issues or Vertigo
  • Limited Vision
  • (U.T.I.) Urinary Tract Infection
  • Shortness of breath
  • Low blood sugar levels (Diabetes are at a higher risk)  
  • Neuropathy or Arthritis making it difficult to walk.
  • Weakness due to a stroke, illness or surgery.
  • Lack of exercise causing loss of muscle tone

Fall prevention techniques you can implement:

  • Chairs should not be too soft, no wheels and have arms. 
  • Always lock wheelchairs when not in motion.
  • Sit up straight on the edge of the chair or bed before standing up.
  • Once standing, stand for a few minutes to get your balance and focus on your next step.
  • Add grab bars in showers and near steps.  If one has balance issues it might be best to use a shower bench as well.
  • Use a recliner that has the ability to lift you out of the chair.
  • Make sure the environment is well late.
  • When assisting someone: Do not try to stop a fall, try to support their head and ease them to the floor.  If behind them when falling, slide the person gently down your body.
  • Never let someone you are helping place their arms around your neck for support.  They might pull you down if they lose their balance.
  • If balance is an issue for the person, always use a two-wheel walker.
  •  Wear sensible shoes.  Do not wear thick soled shoes, heels, slippers, flip flops or heels.
  • Keep the environment clear of clutter

May your future journeys be filled with safe walking!