Royce Shook

1 year ago · 2 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

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Falls can be prevented with the right gift

According to the New York Times, “Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults. Every 19 minutes in this country, an older person dies from a fall”.

To be sure, nearly everyone falls now and then, and some falls are unavoidable. But falling is not an inevitable consequence of ageing. Most age-related falls are preventable once you know why they happen and take steps to minimize the risk for yourself, relatives and friends whose age or health status renders them especially vulnerable.

Our love and protection is the greatest gift we can give those we care about. So, for the next birthday of a senior you love, here are some ideas from the Fall Prevention Community of Practice that may help prevent falls.

For Older Adults, here are some select gifts which help prevent unintentional falls

· offer to do household chores that require lifting, reaching or using a ladder

· offer to do or have someone else do a home safety assessment

· offer to accompany the person for a medication assessment with a pharmacist or physician

· offer to create a list of emergency phone numbers in large print and have it laminated – include grocery stores/restaurants/pharmacies that deliver

· nightlights

· cordless telephones

· personal emergency/protection alarm

· grip bars for the bathtub and toilet

· small clothes baskets or carriers which avoid awkwardness and imbalance

· non-alcoholic beverages for holiday celebrations

· specialty safety items from your pharmacy or therapy retailer (such as a hand gripper for reaching high places)

· a pill dispenser from your pharmacy and a free medication record book from the Public Health Unit to promote the safe use of medications

· firm slippers with a non-slip sole

· boots with a good grip on the soles

· gift certificates for sturdy walking shoes and snowshoes

· warm and comfortable outer clothing

· housecoats short enough to prevent tripping

· hip protectors

· portable power switches for turning on lights or electronic items from 30 feet away

· nutrition supplements (meal replacements)

For the Home, here are some select GIFTS which protect everyone in the home

· smoke detectors or batteries for the smoke detector

· carbon monoxide monitors

· fire extinguishers (talk to your insurance agent)

· safe and sturdy step stools or ladders

· repair of any wobbly furniture

· bathmats or adhesives to avoid slipping in the tub

· floor mats with safe backing for outside the tub to absorb moisture and prevent falling

· bright light bulbs

· replacement of any electrical appliances that need a new cord or plug

· welcome mats and large indoor mats or trays to absorb moisture from wet boots

· large print clocks and watches

· cosmetic bags with attachable handles to attach to walkers and wheelchairs to carry personal items

Finally here are some gift ideas that can also help to prevent injuries for caregivers

· Temporary poles/grab bars to assist the client in and out of bed and on and off the toilet

· Offer to give the caregiver time off by caring for the loved one

· Take food, gifts, items that are enjoyable for the caregiver

· Tell the caregiver (often) how much their care is appreciated!

· Connect the caregivers to websites where others are having similar experiences

· ElderCaring.ca (Canadian)

· AgingCare.com (American) Falls can be prevented with the right giftoT



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