• June is National Home Safety Month

    Posted on June 7, 2010 by in Featured

    Home safety is vital to the ability to age in place. There are simple steps aging adults can take to increase home safety.   Aging in Place is defined by the National Aging in place Council as the ability to continue to live in one’s home safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.  Being able to live safely at home can contribute to our sense of self worth, being part of a community and provides us as well as our family members with peace of mind.  Because of its importance in aging in place, The Aging Suite will be doing a series this month on Home Safety.

    Home safety encompasses a wide variety of areas.  Our series will focus on the various aspects of fall prevention.

    Fall Statistics:

    • Falls occur more often among women who have one or more medical condition and live alone
    • Falls are the leading cause of Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
    • In adults 65 and older, falls are the cause of an estimated 60.7% of TBIs
    • Direct medical costs related to falls in the population age 65 and older  is over $16.4 billion annually
    • The CDC projects that by 2020, annual spending as a result of falls is expected to reach $54.9 billion
    • 77% of falls occur in the home

    Risk Factors for falls:

    Include those that occur inside the body like,

    • arthritis
    • muscle weakness
    • hearing and vision impairments
    • high/low blood pressure
    • balance problems
    • dizziness

    Issues that are due to environmental factors include:

    • home safety hazards
    • poor lighting
    • loose fitting clothing
    • cluttered walking paths
    • placing items on stairs

    Simple things you can do to prevent falls include:

    • Having a health care professional check your medications
    • Exercising regularly to maintain agility by using techniques such as Tai Chi
    • Getting your eyes checked
    • Getting a thorough home assessment performed by a trained professional such as an occupational therapist


    Sources:  The Effect of Tai Chi on Health Outcomes in Patients With Chronic Conditions A Systematic Review

    Fight arthritis pain.org, US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Disability, Aging and Long Term Care Policy, and ABT Associates CDC