According to Center for Disease Control expert Judy Stevens, 30-35% of people over age 65 fall each year, one in five of those falls involve a serious injury, and 65% of those falls result in an emergency room visit.
A bone fracture or any other fall-related injury can be extremely dangerous, and is often considered the beginning of an elderly person’s demise. In fact, the CDC also found that “approximately 20% of older adults hospitalized for a hip fracture die within a year and about 50% will suffer a major decline in independence.”
When considering the statistics listed above, it is easy to see that falls are an increasing concern for our vulnerable elderly population and while efforts to reduce falls are noble it is also equally important to discuss ways in which to reduce fall-related injuries.
In the past we have blogged about several different ways to reduce the likelihood of a fall or fall-related injury such as: balance exercises, home safety tips, how to avoid dangerous areas in the home and how to choose the right fall protection mat.
In this article, we would like to take a different approach on falling: how to fall safely.
There are three basic types of falls (front falling, includes tripping, side falling and backwards falling) and each fall requires its own techniques to reduce injuries and land in a safer manner. According to experts at Five Star Senior Living and Texas Women’s University here are some tips to remember in case of a fall in order to reduce the likelihood of an injury:
For Forward Falls
- Hit ground with entire palm and forearm- This reduces the likelihood of a wrist fracture.
- Turn your head to the side- Reduces risk of hitting your nose or mouth on the ground.
- Try to land on your palms and forearms in a pushup position without letting the rest of your body touch the ground.
- Breathe out
- Avoid Locking your joints
For Side Falls
- Hit ground with entire palm and forearm on the side you fall on- If left side use left arm etc.
- Grab your hip with opposite arm- If falling to left use right arm to grab hip
- Tuck your chin to your chest to avoid your head hitting the ground.
- Try to roll to your back
- Avoid landing directly on your hip
For Backwards Falls
- Bend at knees and squat
- Tuck chin to avoid hitting head
- Hit the ground with forearms first.
- Round Back
As we mentioned earlier, there are many precautions one can take in order to reduce the likelihood of a fall and fall-related injury such as: using a combination of exercises, falling techniques, basic home changes and the use of SmartCells fall protection mats.
SmartCells fall protection mats and flooring employ a unique triple action technology that provides a stable, safe surface for standing, walking, wheeling and transferring, while at the same time protects with 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, which reduce tripping hazards and allow wheeled objects to easily roll, and are constructed of material that will not absorb liquid, and offer a practical solution to infection control issues. SmartCells fall-protection flooring acts as an underlayment for most choices of standard flooring, 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.