Grandparents are a vital part of many families. They offer love, support, and wisdom unmatched by anyone else. Unfortunately, they are also at risk for physical injury. This can be due to several factors, including age and general health. In order to help keep your grandparents safe, it is crucial to understand the risks they face and take steps to reduce those risks.
Physical Injuries Among the Elderly
It’s estimated that about 35 million older adults experience falls annually. That’s about 90% of the overall elderly population in the United States. Out of those 35 million falls, 2.8 million resulted in serious injuries. These injuries included fractures, lacerations, and concussions.
There are several reasons that the elderly are more susceptible to falls. First, as people age, their bones become more brittle and less able to support their weight. This increases the likelihood of a fracture if they do fall. Additionally, people’s balance deteriorates as they age, making it harder to stay upright. Finally, they also tend to lose muscle mass as they age, further contributing to balance problems.
Physical injuries such as falls are not only painful and debilitating, but they can also be deadly. For example, falls are the leading cause of death from injury among people over the age of 65.
Reducing the Risk of Injury
You can do several things to help reduce the risk of physical injury among seniors. One of the most important things you can do is to get help when you can.
Tackling this situation alone can be problematic since you have a life to live. It’s good to look into the case and see whether you can do it or not. If your senior is still relatively healthy and has their mental faculties in check, you might be able to take care of them with the help of a caretaker.
However, a senior who’s already having trouble remembering where they are or even what day it is can be much more problematic. With this in mind, putting them in an assisted living space might be better. Professionals from these facilities can help take care of them, and you won’t have to worry about their safety as much. It’s certainly better than leaving them alone at home where anything can happen.
So remember to check whether you’re up for the task before taking your senior in.
If you have a senior living in your home, you can do several things to help make their environment safer.
First, remove any tripping hazards from their living space. This includes loose rugs or electrical cords that are not adequately secured. You should also ensure that any stairs in their living space have handrails and are well-lit.
It is also vital to ensure that your loved one’s home is adequately equipped to meet their needs. This may include installing grab bars in the bathroom or getting them a wheelchair if they have trouble walking.
Moreover, if your loved one is dealing with memory problems, there are additional precautions you can take to help keep them safe. For instance, you may want to install locks on doors and windows to prevent them from wandering outside. You might also want to remove any potential hazards, such as knives or cleaning supplies, from their home.
Even if seniors are not as active as they used to be, they must exercise regularly. Exercise can help improve balance and muscle mass, which can help reduce the risk of falls. However, talking to a doctor before starting any exercise program is essential, as some exercises may be too strenuous for certain seniors.
Some good exercises for seniors include walking, Tai Chi, and water aerobics. These exercises are relatively low-impact and can be done at various levels depending on the person’s fitness level.
If your elderly enjoy their social life and being around others, you can do several things to help make their community safer.
One thing that can be done is participating in or starting a neighborhood watch program. It will help increase safety in your area by having more eyes on the street. You can also talk to your local police department about increasing patrols in your neighborhood.
Another thing that can be done is to make sure that sidewalks and crosswalks in your area are well-lit and free of hazards. It will help ensure that seniors have a safe place to walk, even at night.
You can also help to raise awareness about senior safety in your community. You can do this by organizing educational seminars or distributing information pamphlets.
No one wants to see their loved ones hurt, so it’s essential to take the necessary precautions to prevent physical injury among seniors. By following the tips in this article, you can make your home and community free from physical injuries for your elderly loved ones.