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PREVENTIVE CARE KNOWLEDGE CENTRE

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How to fall-proof your home for seniors in India?

Written By Samarth Staff | Medically Reviewed by Dr. Anup Bagchi, MBBS, Geriatric specialist

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), falls are the second leading cause of accidental or unintentional injury deaths worldwide. In India, falls among the elderly are alarmingly common, with an estimated 35% of seniors experiencing at least one fall annually (source: National Institute of Health and Family Welfare, India). 

Falls are a leading cause of hospitalization among seniors, with hip fractures being one of the most severe consequences. Age-related vision impairments, such as cataracts and glaucoma, increase the risk of falls; reduced muscle strength and balance make seniors more susceptible to falls; common hazards in Indian homes, such as uneven flooring, slippery surfaces, and inadequate lighting, can increase the risk of falls. Certain medications prescribed to seniors can cause dizziness or lightheadedness, increasing the likelihood of falls.

To mitigate the risk of falls and promote safety among seniors in India, consider implementing the following strategies:

Lighting: Ensure that all areas of the home are well-lit, especially staircases, hallways, and entrances. Use bright LED bulbs and install nightlights to illuminate pathways during nighttime.

Flooring: Replace slippery or uneven flooring with non-slip alternatives, such as matte-finished tiles or carpets with a low pile. Secure loose rugs and remove clutter from walkways.

Handrails and grab bars: Install sturdy handrails along staircases and grab bars in bathrooms near toilets and showers to provide support and stability.

Furniture arrangement: Arrange furniture to create clear pathways throughout the home, avoiding obstacles that could cause tripping.

Bathroom modifications: Make bathrooms safer by installing non-slip mats, raised toilet seats, and handheld showerheads. Ensure that hot water temperatures are set to prevent scalding.

Medication management: Regularly review medications with a healthcare professional to identify any that may increase the risk of falls. Encourage seniors to use pill organizers and adhere to prescribed dosages.

Regular exercise: Encourage seniors to engage in regular physical activity, such as walking, yoga, or tai chi, to improve strength, balance, and flexibility.

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