By Northern Virginia Fall Prevention Coalition
When it comes to protecting your health and the health of your loved ones, fall prevention should be a top priority. Many people mistakenly believe that the risk of falls is only a concern for those aged 60 and older. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 35 percent and 40 percent of all emergency room visits for fall-related injuries involve school-age children, weekend do-it-yourselfers, amateur athletes, and even individuals who have tripped over the family pet. Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths. In 2008 alone, approximately two million adults 70 and older were the victims of falls.
Injuries associated with falls cause challenges both for the injured individual as well as his/her family caregiver. Fall-related injuries can limit independent living. For example, someone who breaks a leg as a result of a fall may now need help walking, bathing, and going up and down stairs. All of this, of course, adds to the duties of the family caregiver. Just the fear of falling can result in a limitation in activity and that alone may lead to more responsibilities for the family caregiver.
What can families do to reduce the risk of falls for everyone in the home? As a family, use these basic guidelines to safe proof your home and to safeguard your family: