A top injury concern, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is injuries due to falling in people over 65.
They report one in four Americans aged 65+ falls each year and every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall. Also, each 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall. This is not acceptable. Falls are the number one cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital visits among adults over 65. Falls result in an excess of 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency rooms annually, including more than 800,000 hospitalizations and more than 27,000 deaths. Knowing that this is a major risk for older adults, action must be taken to reduce the probability of a fall.
Why Does This Happen?
Health issues as well as medication can increase the risk of falls. Poor eyesight as well can be an issue. If you are involved in creating a safer environment for someone at a more advanced age, you need to be vigilant about the environment and reduce risk factors for slips and falls.
Places Where You Can Improve Safety
There are a lot of places you can audit for slip and fall risks. One obvious place is the bathroom, where a lot of accidents occur. Not only is the surface often slippery, but the need to step over a tub wall can increase the risk as well. These risks can be reduced by installing walk in tubs, shower benches and handrails to improve stability. The floor surface of the tub and the bathroom should also have coatings and mats to reduce slipperiness. Traditional bathroom mats may not be as reliable as a professional-grade floor covering.
However, there are other places as well. Anyplace there is a smooth surface that can become slippery when wet, can be dangerous and a simple floor mat or anti-slip tapes can help. This could be stairs, a hallway, the kitchen or the front walkway.
Types of Floor Mat Solutions
Outdoor mats make it easier to enter the home without falling. Additionally, heated outdoor mats can keep snow and ice melted at entrances and even on walks.
Entry mats inside the home reduce bringing in water and making the interior floor wet. This could be from someone older going outside or simply someone coming over for a visit and getting a smooth surface wet.
Anti-slip tape for stairs and ramps help with traction and make slipping more difficult. Ramps are a great idea to reduce the risk of steps, but a slick ramp is no one’s friend.
FloorMat.com has a host of anti-slip products to reduce slip and fall risk in commercial buildings such as assisted living locations as well as residential homes where residents have become more susceptible to slipping and caregivers want to reduce the risks.