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More Elderly Suffering Slip and Fall Injuries

A recent government study reveals a major safety problem – the large increase in the number of elderly suffering slip and fall injuries.

The study showed that the number of people over 75 suffering falls that need emergency room treatment has almost doubled in the past decade. It also showed that falls are the leading cause of injury-related death for people over 75.

Over half of all fall-related deaths involving seniors occur in the home. The second most common place of fall-related deaths is nursing homes.

The results of this study are an important reminder for seniors to take precautions to reduce the chance of slip and fall injuries. Here are tips:

Begin a Regular Exercise Program

Not only does being in shape make you feel better, it also makes you stronger. Exercises that improve balance and coordination are the most helpful. Your doctor can tell you which exercise program is best for you.

Have Your Doctor Review Your Medicines

As you age, medicines can affect your body differently. Some medicines, or combinations of medicines, can make you drowsy, which can lead to a fall. Consult your doctor about which medicines (both prescription and over-the-counter) are safe for you.

Have Your Vision Checked

Visions problems can increase the chance of fall injuries. Have your vision checked at least once every year to find out if you need new glasses or have a medical condition that reduces your vision, like glaucoma or cataracts.

Make Your Home Safe

Since the majority of falls occur in the home, you should take steps to improve safety there. Some good ways to help reduce falls at home are:

• move shoes and other things you can trip over away from stairs and places where you walk.

• remove small throw rugs or use two-sided tape to keep them from slipping.

• improve the lighting in your home.

• use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors.

• install grab bars next to your toilet and in the tub or shower.

These are just a few ways to help reduce the chance of slip and fall injuries. Following them can help seniors stay safe and help prevent them from suffering one of the most common types of accidents of their age group.

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