Falls Prevention Week: How to make your home safer

Falling, we all fear it, either for ourselves, our parents, or grandparents. It’s a frightening fact, one in four Americans over the age of 65 will fall each year. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older adults.

Sept.18 kicks off Falls Prevention Week and we want to share some simple things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones from falling at home.

Eighty-two-year-old Patricia Bersche spent two and a half days on her kitchen floor until help arrived. Her story is not uncommon. Sixty percent of falls happen inside the home.

If you’re over age 65, you have a 25% chance of falling and hurting yourself. Researchers predict there will be seven deadly falls every hour by 2030. That’s why it’s important to make your home as safe as possible.

“It can be things like adding a grab rail or changing the way you do something like turning on a light before you walk down the stairs,” said Susan Stark, an occupational therapist at Washington University.

Other simple but effective solutions, add railings to all your stairways and grab bars before getting in and out of the shower and on and off the toilet.

More than 3 million people end up in the emergency room each year due to a fall. The cost of treating these injuries is estimated to be over $101 billion by 2030.

A few more ways to decrease your risk of falling — stay physically active, discuss medication side effects, and wear non-skid shoes or socks.

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