According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), in 2012, the total cost of elderly fall injuries was over $36 billion and it is estimated that the cost will increase to $59.6 billion by 2020 as the population ages.
Considering the health and financial implications of even one fall-related injury it is easy to see why SATECH has long been an advocate for not only fall prevention but also injury prevention solutions for our vulnerable elderly population.
If you have been following our blog, you may recall that several weeks ago we started a four-part blog series discussing the top bodily factors that can affect the likelihood of a fall.
In that blog, we touched on how maintaining healthy eyesight is a great way to help reduce the risk of a fall. This week we will touch on the second bodily factor that affects the likelihood of a fall: hearing.
It may seem odd to some that impaired hearing can increase one’s likelihood of a fall but according to several fall prevention specialists, the sense of hearing is linked to several important cues that help maintain balance.
In fact, according to an article written by the American Academy of Otolaryngology, as we age our “Central Nervous System slowly deteriorates which causes the sensory cells in the ears’ balance system to gradually decrease in number.” This loss of sensory cells greatly increases one’s risk of a fall.
The following tips are great ways to slow the effects of aging on your hearing and reduce your risk of falls:
- Have regular check-ups with an ear specialist
- Avoid excessive noise
- When around excessive noise for extended periods of time use earplugs or earmuffs
- Have an ear doctor remove ear wax build-up or use an at-home ear irrigation kit.
- Refrain from using q-tips which generally push wax further into the ear
- Be aware of the symptoms of hearing loss (i.e. trouble hearing conversations, having to turn the TV up so loud it bothers others, talking louder)
While maintaining the health and integrity of one’s hearing is an important factor in reducing the risk of a fall, it is also important to have precautionary measures in place like SmartCells fall protection mats and flooring.
SmartCells fall protection mats and flooring employ a unique dual-stiffness technology that provides a stable, safe surface for standing, walking, wheeling and transferring, while at the same time provide significant cushioning in case of a slip or fall.
SmartCells fall-protection mats are safe and elegant. They combine style and quality with molded-in beveled edges and allow wheeled objects to easily roll over them.
SmartCells fall protection mats are constructed of material that will not absorb liquid offering a practical solution to infection control issues. SmartCells fall-protection flooring acts as an underlayment for many choices of standard floor covering, so you won’t even know it’s there, until a fall occurs.
SmartCells Fall Protection: We’ll be there when you can’t be.