For seniors, injuries are often more severe than what they might have experienced when they were younger. Older adults are also more likely to be injured due to new health issues, such as weakened bones and thinner skin. Every year, more than one million elderly people are admitted to emergency rooms for injuries, many of which are easily preventable. Senior safety is a major concern, and following is a list of the most common injuries aging adults are at risk for and how they can be avoided.
One out of every three seniors aged 65 and older experiences a fall each year. Falls are the leading cause of both nonfatal and fatal injuries among seniors, and 20 to 30 percent of these injuries are moderate to severe and can cause disability or increase the risk of death. Falls can result in a wide range of injuries, including lacerations, sprains, hip fractures, head trauma, and even traumatic brain injuries.
Home modifications, including reducing trip hazards, installing grab bars in the bathroom, adding railings to staircases, and enhancing lighting throughout the home, can reduce the risk of falls among seniors. Seniors should also get regular exercise to increase balance, and older adults should speak with their doctors to review any prescriptions that may cause dizziness.
Having a home caregiver nearby can help your loved one avoid fall-related injuries. Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional elder care seniors can trust and rely on.
Older adults are at higher risk for bone fractures than younger people. With age, the bones lose their ability to resist cracks, which can eventually lead to breaks. Fifty percent of women and 25 percent of men over the age of 50 will experience age-related fractures at some point. Older adults are also at risk for osteoporosis, which is the loss of bone density. Fractures can develop in any bones—particularly those in the hips, arms, and spine—from any number of causes. While falls are the leading cause of fractures, seniors can also experience fractures following car accidents or even something as simple as twisting while standing. Seniors can reduce their risk of fractures by getting enough vitamin D and calcium, avoiding smoking and excessive drinking, exercising to increase balance and strengthen bones, and using walking aids.
If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Scottsdale at-home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
While elevators are widely viewed as a safer alternative to stairs or escalators, a study published in 2010 found they’re common sites of accidents and injuries among elderly people. Thousands of older Americans end up in emergency rooms every year due to injuries that occur in elevators, most of which are caused by slips or falls. Roughly one-third of elevator-related injuries are caused by the door closing on a senior, and about 40 percent of ER admissions for elevator-related injuries are due to hip fractures. The best way for seniors to avoid getting hurt in or near an elevator is to avoid rushing and, if possible, having someone hold the door.
Some families may not always be available to supervise their loved ones and prevent serious injuries. There are a variety of reasons family caregivers should consider respite care. Scottsdale, AZ, families often have additional responsibilities that make it more challenging to provide the care their senior loved ones need and deserve. A professional respite caregiver can take over your important caregiving duties, allowing you more time to focus on yourself. Call Home Care Assistance at (480) 771-2710 to learn more about our flexible and customizable senior care plans.