10 Steps to Help Prevent Falls in the Elderly, from The CareGiver Partnership

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In recognition of Fall Prevention Awareness Week Sept. 22–28, Lynn Wilson, Founder of The CareGiver Partnership, offers 10 steps that can help the elderly avoid falls, plus a link to a free 25-page fall prevention guide.

The good news is, falls are largely preventable and there are many factors that can reduce risk.

Falls in the elderly not only can lead to injury or death, but after a fall, seniors often are afraid and limit their activity, says Lynn Wilson, Founder of The CareGiver Partnership, a national retailer of incontinence products and other home health care supplies.

“Limiting activity can lead to reduced mobility and physical fitness that can increase the risk of falling again,” Wilson says. “The good news is, falls are largely preventable and there are many factors that can reduce risk.”

Wilson suggests the following 10 steps to help the elderly prevent falls:

1. A diet rich in calcium, increasing vitamin D through sunlight and supplements, and weight-bearing exercises to fight loss of bone density.
2. Regular exercise to increase muscle and bone strength.
3. Proper-fitting, supportive shoes with low heels and rubber soles.
4. Clean, properly fitting eyeglasses and regular eye exams.
5. Using color-contrasting strips in the home to define objects and changes in height.
6. Knowing medication side effects and limiting alcohol if it interacts with medications.
7. Adequate lighting inside and outside the home, including nightlights and motion-control lighting.
8. Removal of tripping hazards such as clutter, throw rugs, cords and furniture in pathways.
9. Installing bathroom safety features, such as grab bars, nonskid mats, bath benches and raised toilet seats.
10. Keeping commonly used items — such as incontinence supplies, kitchenware, lamps, clocks and telephones — within easy reach.

“Not all falls are preventable, but equipping a home with monitoring and safety tools — such as mobility tools, medical alert equipment and a My Health Phone — will provide peace of mind that a loved one can communicate with caregivers or emergency services 24/7,” says Wilson.

The CareGiver Partnership offers a free downloadable fall prevention guide, in addition to more than 1,200 online family caregiver resources.

The CareGiver Partnership is a national direct-to-consumer retailer of home healthcare products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, daily living aids, nutrition support and more. In its sixth year of providing products and services that help caregivers and loved ones maintain personal dignity, the company also offers an online library of more than 1,200 family caregiver resources and personal service by experts in caregiving. Call 1-800-985-1353 or visit online.

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