Tuesday, June 02, 2009

June is Home Safety Month and DHR urges older adults to practice safety to prevent injuries

June is Home Safety Month and the Georgia Department of Human Resources, Division of Aging Services is urging older adults to practice safety to prevent injuries. In 2005, there were 15,800 people 65 and older who died from injuries related to unintentional falls. About 1.8 million in this same age group were treated in emergency rooms and more than 433,000 of these patients were hospitalized. About 20 to 30 percent of the people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries like bruises, hip fractures, or head trauma according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Experts suggest various things that older adults can do to reduce their risk of falling such as:

Exercising regularly to increase strength and improve balance;
Having regular eye examinations at least once a year;
Removing throw rugs or using non- slip backing so they won’t slip;
Keeping objects like books, towels, shoes, magazines and blankets off the floor;
Putting overhead lights at the top and bottom of stairs;
Fixing any loose or uneven steps on the stairs; and
Adding a non-slip rubber mat or self-stick strips to the bathtub or shower.

"We encourage older individuals, at risk adults, persons with disabilities, and their families to use safety precautions to avoid falls," said Maria Greene, Director of the Division of Aging Services.

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