6 Tips Boomers Need For Slips and Fall Prevention

One 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.
        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.
        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.
        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.)
        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.
        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.

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View Comments (45)

  • Its amazing how bad our balance and coordination gets as we get older, I own a carpet cleaning business in Columbus GA and am constantly walking on slick and wet carpets, at least once a week I slip and fall, luckily I haven't been hurt yet.

  • 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?

  • Now a days people use to wear slippery footwear in houses that cause some serious accidents. So Please read all these tips to prevent from all these types of accidents. Thanks for sharing this.

  • I totally agree with you about fall prevention, especially for old people who bones are vulnerable be cracked

  • I agree with all six point when it comes to the elderly. This would be really good help to care workers who work with seniors as most of them are unable to carry out some these task due to illness

  • Preventing falls is definitely an important issue for the elderly. Regular exercising and maintaining a good fitness level should be part of a comprehensive prevention program. I have been blogging on this issue.

  • I am going to pass this along to my parents. They are coming closer to that age. Thanks for sharing.

  • Just to add to the excellent advice in this blog and my earlier comment on the importance of exercise in maintaining good balance and avoiding falls. Exercise is now shown to be highly effective in reducing and reversing the early effects of dementia.

  • Thanks for sharing these useful tips, I will pass them to my parents. They are getting pretty old and moving around the house can be very dangerous at their age. I remember how my grandmother went to the store once and came back with a badly broken leg. All she had to do was slip a little.