Physical Therapists Offer Home Safety Tips To Avoid Falls
The American Physical Therapy Association is urging older adults to take a moment to complete a room-by-room checklist to identify and repair possible fall hazards in their homes and begin an exercise plan to reduce chances of falling and risk of injury.
"It’s critical that seniors remain active in and outside their homes to help reduce their risk of falling," says APTA spokesperson Patrice Winter, PT, MPT. "However, hazards in the home are one of the leading causes of falls in older adults. Removing throw rugs, rerouting electrical cords, and installing handrails are simple ways in which one can make a home safer. Furthermore, an older adult’s risk of falling can be decreased through an individualized exercise program, designed by a physical therapist, to improve his or her strength, mobility, and balance."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one third of adults ages 65 and older fall each year in the United States. Falls are the leading cause of deaths due to injuries and the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma for the aging population.
In addition to addressing home safety and exercise, older adults should ask all health care providers to review their medicines — both prescription and over-the counter — to reduce side effects and interactions. They should also have their eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year.