NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — We’ve got your back on this first day of fall with some important information to better protect older adults. Quinnipiac University is hosting its annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day.
Age brings us wisdom but the passage of time also brings an increased risk of falling and with it, the potential for serious injury.
“’The injuries are devastating. I mean there are 250,000 hip fractures in the U.S. every year and there are two and a half million visits to the emergency room every year in the U.S.,” said Christine Kasinskas, Quinnipiac U. Professor of Physical Therapy.
Experts say many falls happen in the kitchen and bathroom, where floors are often slippery. But, there are some home improvements that can be made at a relatively low cost, which can reduce many of the risks.
“Equipment in the bathroom, a raised toilet seat or commode that goes over the toilet, grab bars that you can get a local handyman to install, those don’t cost a lot of money,” said Kasinskas.
She also says a bathtub bench is often helpful. As we age, balance can also be an issue, a situation that can be complicated by the use of medication.
“If maybe some of their medication makes their blood pressure lower, just even going from a sitting to a standing position put them at risk for falling forward or falling backward,” said Teresa Twomey, Quinnipiac U. School of Nursing.
So as we move into our golden years, regular health checkups, including vision and hearing checks are more important than ever.