Each year Americans celebrate “Older Americans Month” in an effort raise awareness of the contributions of our elderly loved ones and provide them with information to help them stay healthy and active.
This year the focus of Older Americans Month is to raise awareness about injury prevention.
According to the Center for Disease Control, in 2002, more than 12,800 people over age 65 died and 1.6 million were treated in emergency departments because of falls. However, over the past decade the death rates due to falls have risen sharply. In 2010, 1 in 3 people over the age of 65 fell, and 2.3 million of our elderly were treated in emergency rooms due to fall-related injuries.
Focusing on fall prevention is critical and entirely appropriate, including assessments of potential medication interactions, gathering full medical histories, evaluation social networks and support, strength and balance training, creating and maintaining safe physical environments, etc. But, the reality is that in spite of proactive steps to prevent falls, falls still occur. So, we suggest that broadening the narrative from fall prevention to injury protection reflects more complete paradigm.
To prevent the risk of falls for at-risk populations, here are some helpful tips:
Remove boxes, newspapers, electrical cords and phone cords from walkways.
- Secure loose rugs with double faced tape, tacks or a slip resistant backing.
- Repair loose wooden floorboards and carpeting right away.
- Immediately clean spilled liquid, grease or food.
- Use nonslip mats in the bathtub or shower.
- Place night lights in bedrooms, bathrooms and hallways
- Store flashlights in easy-to-find places in case of power outages.
- Hand rails for both sides of the stairways.
- Nonslip treads for bare-wood steps.
- A raised toilet seat or one with armrests.
- Grab bars in the shower or tub.
To prevent injuries from falls, consider SmartCells fall protection flooring and mats. The remarkable SmartCells cushioning technology provides a “dual-stiffness” that offers stability for balance-impaired persons, while at the same time providing significant cushioning that can exceed that of materials that are several times as thick.
SmartCells fall protection mats combine style and quality with features like beveled edges, which reduce tripping hazards and allow wheeled objects such as wheel chairs to easily roll over the mat.
SmartCells fall protection flooring is used as an underlayment for finished floors, avoids the use of mats completely.
SmartCells Fall Protection flooring and mats: We’ll be there when you can’t be.