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Proud to serve the emergency response needs of our older adult community for over 30 years. Vital Link is a member of the Senior Injury Prevention Partnership with local organizations to educate about home safety and prevent falls among seniors.
Falls are one of the leading problems facing the older person. Many times injury from falls leads to permanent disability, limiting a person's active, independent life. It is estimated that one-third of all persons 60 years old and older suffer falls each year. Indirectly, the fear may also be damaging. It's estimated that 20% of the elderly who fear falling limit their activities of daily living. Making simple changes to lifestyle and environment can provide peace of mind and prevent the likelihood of falling.
The older population's risk of falling is related to three influences: the normal aging progress, pathology that increases with age, and environmental conditions. As people age, there are normal alterations in vision, gait, posture, hearing, and cognition, which may increase incidence of falls. All are factors that can make a simple trip to the kitchen a potentially dangerous undertaking.
For example, a person may not have the muscle strength or reflex reaction to avoid a fall after an unexpected trip or impaired vision may interfere with their ability to avoid obstacles. In addition, the elderly also have a higher incidence of chronic illness. Cardiovascular conditions, neurological impairments, psychological disorders and metabolic disorders may directly influence a person's functional capabilities. Environmental factors include the person's physical surroundings and medications that put them at risk for falling.
Due the fact that injuries to older adults are more severe because of brittle bones and thin skin, caution should be used at all times, particularly when someone is home alone. Practicing good safety habits and staying alert - even when performing the most mundane tasks - can prevent many accidents.
Many falls and accidents can be prevented. Below are simple lifestyle changes and home modifications that may increase your safety and deter falls. Recent studies have shown that paying attention to these details significantly reduces the incidence of falling.