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Walkers Linked to Higher Risk of At Home Falls

 

Have you ever seen an older person dragging their walker along? Walking aids can help seniors function independently, but older adults are often poorly trained in the proper use and function of walkers. According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 47,000 seniors are treated in emergency rooms every year for walker and cane-related injuries. A six year study concluded that people were six times more likely to be injured in a fall while using a walker as compared to cane-related falls. Falls involving older women accounted for 75% of the study's walker-related injuries.

The majority of falls associated with walkers and canes happen in the home while the senior family member is moving about. Since so many elderly family members rely on walkers and other aids to remain active, the CDC offers the following suggestions:

Better Training - It is believed that many adults receive little to no training in the safe use of assistive devices. All At Home Care can help your loved one learn how to safely use their walker or cane.

Proper Fit - Most walking aids have a number of adjustments to personalize the device to fit the senior's height, gait, muscle strength and walking speed. Unfortunately, this need often gets overlooked and the senior is stuck with an ill-fitting aid.

Exercise Program - Simple exercises can help an older adult recover the strength they need in both their upper and lower body. In addition, balance exercises such as Tai Chi can help a senior manage balance issues.

In Home Hazards - All At Home professionals have the experience and expertise to evaluate dangers in the home and suggest sensible modifications to improve safety.

For men and women who rely on walkers, these aids are very important in helping them maintain their mobility, and mobility is a key component for an aging adult who chooses to live at home. Unfortunately, falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries in the United States, and injuries to an older adult can have devastating consequences. In fact, about one third of the walker-related emergencies result in hospitalization due to lower body injuries to the hip or pelvis. The occurrence of walking-aid injuries also rises sharply with age.

For in-home assistance with an elderly loved one, contact All At Home Care. We know that caring for an aging senior can suddenly become an unexpected challenge. If you or someone you love requires home health care in Jacksonville or throughout much of Northeast Florida, we're here to help. 

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