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Falls: The Leading Cause of Senior Hospitalization

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Most families would agree that keeping a senior out of the hospital is an important goal. That's because professionals who work with older adults know that some seniors who are hospitalized don't always go home the same, or worse, they don't go home at all.

Yet, research reveals that many of these hospitalizations can be prevented. According to a survey of 400 North American nurses who specialize in senior care and conducted by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care® network, nearly half (48.5%) of these hospitalizations could be avoided if the proper preventative steps are taken.

These five preventative actions can help reduce the potential risk that an older adult will end up in the hospital:

  1. Follow doctor's orders
  2. Don't ignore symptoms
  3. Reduce risks of falls and accidents
  4. Stay active physically and mentally
  5. Maintain a healthy diet

Another vital factor in keeping seniors out of the hospital is... family. Nearly 100% of the nurses surveyed agreed that a family's role in helping to keep seniors healthy and out of the hospital is as important as that of the medical community.

If you care for an aging adult, you know the fear a potential fall brings. It's not an unwarranted fear. Each year, millions of adults aged 65 and older fall. Falls can cause severe injury and even death. The good news is that falls can be prevented with some diligence, planning, and home help. The CDC reports that older adults can stay independent longer and reduce their risk of falling if they:

  • Ask their doctor or pharmacist to review their medicines—both prescription and over-the-counter—to identify medicines that may cause side effects or interactions such as dizziness or drowsiness.
  • Have their eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year and update their eyeglasses to maximize their vision. Consider getting a pair with single vision distance lenses for some activities such as walking outside.
  • Make their homes safer by reducing tripping hazards, adding grab bars inside and outside the tub or shower and next to the toilet, adding railings on both sides of stairways, and improving the lighting in their homes.

We urge you to watch this video series to learn more about some of the warning signs and senior conditions that may result in potential hospitalization and preventative measures that may help keep a senior out of the hospital. You can gauge your loved one's strength and balance and learn exercises to help them correct and deficiencies with the help of these videos.


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