Did you know one in four Americans over the age of 65 fall each year? Or that emergency rooms across the country treat older adults every 11 seconds because of a fall (with a reported 2.8 million injuries, more than 800,000 hospitalizations, and more than 27,000 deaths)? This information, which comes from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gives plenty of evidence that seniors should take every available precaution to avoid falls.
At The Saybrook at Haddam, we take extra steps to help residents prevent falls. The most important thing we do is maintain a safe living environment – inside and out. Inside, we keep hallways and walking areas clean and clear, and regularly check carpeting and flooring for bumps or uneven spots that could cause a fall. We also provide handrails and plenty of lighting for safe travels throughout the community. Outside, the maintenance team ensures all pathways are clear of snow and ice during the winter and other natural debris during the rest of the year. They prune trees, repair walkways, and monitor countless other areas of concern.
Our wellness team works with residents to be sure they understand the side effects of medication, which may include dizziness or other factors that could result in a fall. The team regularly checks eyesight, hearing and other conditions that could affect balance and cause a fall. We also bring in mobility experts to check walkers and wheelchairs to be sure they are in proper condition (and not the reason for a potential fall). By being aware of their personal risks, residents become more alert and hopefully more cautious throughout each day.
The recreation and activities team offers exercise classes, fun games, and plenty of other opportunities for residents to build their physical fitness, which goes a long way to preventing falls and avoid injuries. By being active, residents improve their strength, flexibility and balance and are less likely to trip or slip in their apartments or within the community. This is particularly important since we realize seniors need extra encouragement to keep moving and to stay fit as they age. Preventing a fall is one of the best motivators we know!
Of course, the simple choice of living in a retirement community offers the benefit of having plenty of staff available to escort residents or lend a hand for stability if ever needed. Staff is also on hand to check on residents in their apartments to be sure their surroundings are safe (and to provide immediate medical attention if ever a fall does occur).
For seniors who still live in their own homes or apartments, we suggest looking over the AARP’s “HomeFit” guide for easy and effective ways to create a safe and comfortable home. These tips offer important steps to take to avoid falls or injuries in the home (and trips to the emergency room).
In all we do at The Saybrook at Haddam, staying safe and helping seniors enjoy a high quality of life are at the top of the list. This naturally means we avoid falls any way we can – and we hope you do, too.
For a personalized tour of The Saybrook at Haddam and its Safe Harbor memory care neighborhood, please fill out the form below or call David Downey at 860-345-8779.