6 Tips Boomers Need For Slips and Fall Prevention

Boomer-BurnoutOne of the main concerns for any 50+ persons which includes many of us baby boomers, is a slip and fall. These can cause not only severe injury often taking months of hospitalization and therapy and ruining your sense of independence they can even result in death. Complications can arise too resulting in a real struggle and lost of your regular quality of life. Stay living own your ow and out of assisted living.

Many boomers may think this does not apply to them – until it does! Please pay attention now because we are talking prevention here. It does apply to you. Just recently two friends of mine, females ages 65 and 66 had falls which landed them in the hospital and both will be in rehab for months. One broke her hip and the other hurt her shoulder badly. This hit home with me and  prompted me to write this article

Although accidents can happen at any time and for any reason, knowing how to properly assess and prevent these types of incidents go a long way in helping us boomers stay independent and healthy for many years.

Here are a few steps boomers and seniors should take in determining not only their risk but also in prevention.

        1. Learn what health issues may already put you at risk of a slip and fall injury. If you have health conditions which may affect the lower limbs, joints, or balance such as osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetic neuropathy, or any other disorder affecting the way you move you will need to see your doctor to assess your risks. You may also already be taking medication which may cause dizziness and further the risk of a fall. This is another risk you should discuss with a physician.
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        2. Tidy up your home and remove anything which may prohibit easy movement through the house. This will ensure there are no obstacles on the floor that may cause a trip or slip hazard. Also try to make things in the home easily accessible to avoid movements which may cause accidents.
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        3. Get moving and you will increase your balance, strength and flexibility which go a long way in preventing not only a slip and fall accident but also decrease your risk of many ailments. There are quite a number of senior designed exercise programs in solo or group settings to take advantage of and not only will you stay fitter, you will have fun as well. If you are on Medicare, there is a program for gym membership called Silver Sneakers you should look into.
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        4. Always wear good fitting shoes that provide comfort and proper support to keep your balance and posture strong and upright. When in the home, you can also wear socks and slippers designed with a non-slip sole to keep you from slipping on non-carpeted surfaces. Avoid slip on shoes or ones with thicker soles as they can either be too loose or cause balance problems which can lead to a fall. (one of my friends who fell had on flip flops.)
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        5. Brighten up the home by keeping shades open during the day and making areas well lit during the evening. You can also place nightlights in areas such as hallways, kitchen and especially bathrooms. I have put in led nightlights with motion detectors (available from Home Depot) in my bedroom and bathroom. These steps will assist in providing well lit areas so you can find their way around and avoid obstacles even for those with slightly impaired vision.
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        6. Consider home improvements designed for “aging in place”. This new concept centers on the idea of making home improvements to assist seniors living in the home, aka making your home more livable. Some are rather easy, others require expensive remodeling. Examples of this type of improvements include handrails in bathrooms, walk-in showers and tubs, widening door openings to allow for easier access and even handicapped accessible entryways to the home. For those on a budget, you can simply place nonslip pads in showers and bathroom floors; use rug grippers to prevent slipping, and have someone help you install a handrail in the shower.· Of course you could move to a 55 plus community which are have homes or apartments already build with livable design.

It is vastly easier to prevent accidents that to mitigate the problems after one happens and although no accident is fully preventable, you can better your chances of avoiding a slip and fall injury by taking these few steps to not only better you environment but also your health. Boomers here’s to making our golden years the best possible and the hopes of living independently for many years to come.

Aging Boomers: Avoid These Downside Risks
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45 thoughts on “6 Tips Boomers Need For Slips and Fall Prevention”

  1. I’d like to add a few more easy tips. A big reason for slips are rugs, so either remove them from the home or add no slip material underneath for better support. Don’t be afraid to add a lot of night lights so moving around in the evening is easier! Lastly, avoid walking around barefoot, instead get some non slip slippers.

  2. I must say these tips are very helpful. Boomers and seniors often faces the problems as mentioned above in this article and I think following these tips anyone can prevent themselves from accidents. Thanks.

  3. These are all very good tips, but it is also important for families to feel that their loved one are safe, either at home or within assisted living. Aiding fall prevention is extremely important when the damage one fall can cause is seen
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  4. All of your tips are very useful and essential to prevent accidental fall when we walk unconsciously. If we follow your tips consciously, we can easily avoid these type of accident.
    A lot of thanks for this post and we expect more useful tips like this post.

  5. Now a days people use to put very slippery tiles to the floor that cause some serious accidents specially this happens mostly with our elders.

    1. Tai Chi as a fall prevention technique has been shown again and again by researchers as effective or as promising. We can all do better with Tai Chi exercise, the question is by how much and what is at work that enables such impact on people’s balance. The another issue is that although Tai Chi is beneficial, most people have the wrong impression that it is only for seniors. The truth is that like many things in life, Tai Chi is easier and the benefits are more prominent when started early.
      Frank recently posted…New York Times Article on Fall Prevention and Tai ChiMy Profile

  6. one of the biggest problems I have noticed with my parents, is they still think they can do the little jobs they used to do 20 years ago! I received a call from my mother 2 weeks ago saying my father had been in the loft using a step ladder now at 68 years old he should be taking it easy as his health is not that great. Well the ladder slipped and he ended up on his rear end with a bruised back grazed arms and shoulders and mother who has no chance of helping him up wondering what to do.
    I think the elders need educating in what they think they are capable of doing compared to what is safe for them to do.
    Education For Retirement is required…

  7. I’m a rehab clinician and treat patients due to falls. Functional fitness type exercises should not be overlooked. We begin to lose our balance as early as 40. Balance is not something we keep unless we work at strengthening our balance muscles. Whereas, we often focus on our legs, we also need to focus on our core – our abdominals and back to increase our balance.
    Suzanne Andrews,
    Executive producer, Functional Fitness, Public Television.
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  8. Thanks for sharing your tips on fall prevention in seniors. Another thing that I noticed about individuals who have had a fall (and that is supported by the research) is that the fear of falling can be detrimental as well. When someone has a fear of falling, they will change the way they walk, often looking down at the ground (instead of up ahead) and may start to shuffle their feet. It is important to help individuals who have a fear of falling by strengthening their legs and core, helping them improve their balance and working on gait re-training.
    Physiotherapy Toronto recently posted…Body Awareness and Injury PreventionMy Profile
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  9. Great post and thanks for sharing these tips. One thing I’d to share is the bathroom in which many of these accidents happen to older adults, all too often resulting in fall/slip injuries. Installing grab bars and tension pole is a big help as well as using non-skid mats to combat combat slippery surfaces.

  10. Completely agree, my parents are starting to get older and more frail now and I can see the need to start managing the risk. I am concerned that if something happened it would take them a long time to recover.

    Fixing rugs to the floor, and making sure carpets are in good repair and fully attached to the ground is also important.

    We’ve been working together on this for a while now, I’ll share this post with them (it is better coming from a 3rd party!)
    Sandra Dole recently posted…How Clean Is Your Carpet? (Infographic)My Profile

  11. I agree with Sandra. My grandmother is elder and we put mats throughout the kitchen where we have wood floors and she hasn’t fell since.

    Thanks for sharing this article!

  12. Great tips! I’m very sure that by following these precautions and making simple updates to the home, elders will soon enjoy peace of mind knowing that they are doing their best to reduce the risk of becoming a slip and fall statistic. No better time but now to try these tips to ensure our elders continue to live a safe, independent and healthy life. Thanks for sharing!

  13. A few are generally instead easy, people need high priced renovating. Types of this kind of enhancements include handrails in bath rooms, walk-in showers as well as tubs, extending home spaces permitting regarding easier accessibility and in many cases handicapped accessible entrances to the house.
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  14. Be very cautious when taking your medications to stay close to your bed, especially if it causes dizziness or sleepiness. Make sure your carpet cleaning service gets up any and all sticky residue. Make sure carpet cleaners use Green cleaning solutions.

  15. These are really great tips. It’s never fun being injured in a slip and fall accident or seeing someone you love get injured because of one.
    Aimee Lower recently posted…2My Profile

  16. I would also like to add that they should always have a cellphone or another device that will allow them to call for help on them at all times. I have heard stories of senior citizens that fell and had to spend days on the floor of their homes because they had no way or means to call for help.

  17. I especially agree with your last point about how important it is to make the home safer with home improvements like handrails and mats in the showers. I felt so much better about both my grandmothers after little changes like these were made in order to let them be independent in their homes as long as they could. As long as there are no mental issues like dementia, little improvements like this can go a long way.

    I’d also recommend padding any corners – like the edges of kitchen islands or even wall corners. It was shocking when my grandmother tripped into a corner on the kitchen counter and ended up bleeding quite severely and bruised for a long time afterwards. We bought stuff to pad corners after that which was a great home improvement for her.
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  18. I’d like to emphasize the bathroom area as an area in the home to pay special attention to. Too many opportunities for wet, slippery surfaces and often tight quarters and hard surfaces to fall in/on to.

    Non slip tiles or other floor coatings. Hand rails in every bath and shower. In and out. If you can’t reach a rail somewhere in the process of getting in and / or out you need another!

    After a fall you’re not going to complain about having too many rails now are you?
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