Elderly medical supplies help prevent death in the elderly
Elderly medical supplies such as bars, bathtub mats, bed rails, canes and many more can help prevent injury and death in your aging loved one. All of these products are designed to help prevent falls, which are the leading cause of injury and death among older Americans, according to the CDC. Did you know that every second of every day in the United States an adult aged 65 or older falls? And if an older adult falls and no one is around to hear them, do they make a sound? Yes, they do – provided they own a Smart Patient Alarm. “Older adult falls are increasing and, sadly, often herald the end of independence,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said. “Healthcare providers can make fall prevention a routine part of care in their practice, and older adults can take steps to protect themselves.”
And if they can’t take steps by themselves – for which there are crutches, wheelchairs, walkers, rollators, and other elderly medical supplies – then their caregivers should take measures like those recommended by CDC, including the following:
· Keep floors clutter-free at home.
· Remove small throw rugs, or secure them to the floor with double-sided tape.
· Install grab bars in the bathroom, next to and inside the tub, and next to the toilet.
· Install handrails and lights on all staircases.
· Make sure the house is well lighted.
· Promote participation in activities that strengthen legs and help with balance, such as Tai Chi.
· Schedule an annual physical checkup and vision screening for the elderly person.
· Consider having a medication review conducted by a pharmacist or healthcare provider.
· Bring all medications, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, vitamins and supplements to a planned office visit or to the pharmacist for review.
· Discuss any side effects like dizziness or drowsiness.
· Healthcare providers can help aging adults determine which medications might be stopped, decreased, or switched if side effects are conducive to falls.
· Ask the healthcare provider if vitamin D supplements might help improve nerve, muscle, and bone health.
· Tell a healthcare provider if the elderly individual has fallen, is afraid of falling, or feels unsteady when walking or standing.
In 2014, older Americans experienced 29 million falls which caused seven million injuries. Every 12 seconds, one elderly Americans is admitted to the ER for a fall; and every day, 74 of those people will die as a result of a fall. In 2015, Medicare spent over $31 billion on medical treatment for fall-related injuries, and the average cost of a non-fatal fall was approximately $10,000. Nearly everybody is related to or knows someone who has fallen and can’t get up, but that doesn’t mean falling is a normal part of the aging process. Older Americans and their caregivers can prevent falls, and elderly medical supplies are part of the first line of defense.