Posts Tagged ‘unintentional injuries’

Unintentional Injuries: How Can You Protect Yourself?

According to the National Safety Council, more than 145,000 deaths in 2015 were the result of unintentional injuries. Topping the list is poisoning, usually as a result of a prescription drug overdose. Motor vehicle crashes come in second for unintentional-injury-related deaths. Everyone can do their part to make the roads safer by not texting while driving or driving while tired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

In terms of unintentional injuries, the elderly are especially at risk for dying from falls or suffocation by choking. Fortunately there are many steps you can take to reduce your risk for falls. Keeping floors clear and uncluttered, making sure indoor and outdoor lighting is sufficient for visibility, installing grab bars and no-slip mats in showers and tubs, and keeping often-used items easily accessible are just a few ways you can reduce fall risk. In addition, staying active and practicing yoga or tai chi can improve balance and coordination, which can significantly reduce your risk of falling.

For more information on fall prevention and protecting yourself from unintentional injury or death, visit the National Safety Council’s website.

Celebrating Older Americans Month: Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow.

The Elders

Home Care Plus is celebrating Older Americans Month this May! This year’s theme, Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow. is focused on educating older adults on how they can stay safe from unintended injuries. Older Americans Month, sponsored each May by the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL), is placing emphasis on injury prevention, including fire, motor vehicle, and consumer product safety; improper use of medicine; and more.

According to ACL, “unintentional injuries to this population result in at least 6 million medically treated injuries and more than 30,000 deaths every year.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites falls as the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for those aged 65+. More than 21,700 older adults die from falls each year, and every 15 seconds, an older adult is seen in an Emergency Department for a fall-related injury. The medical cost of falls is currently estimated to top $30 billion each year.

It is a common misconception that falls are a normal part of aging, and they can be prevented through a combination of interventions. These include exercising, getting a fall risk assessment, reviewing medications, having vision and hearing checked, and making the home environment safe. More tips are available at www.ncoa.org/FallsPrevention.

The CDC has prepared a home fall prevention safety checklist, called Check For Safety, that is a great resource for anyone looking to fall proof their or their loved ones’ home. Put safety first as you age to celebrate many healthy tomorrows!