Staying Healthy and Active: 5 Injury Prevention Tips for Seniors

“According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, adults over 65 are at increased risk for many types of injuries. Injuries among this age group can have devastating consequences, leading in some cases to disability, loss of independence and even death,” says Collin Tierney, Executive Director and Administrator of Bryn Mawr Terrace in Bryn Mawr, PA.

“Therefore, prevention is key to maintaining a safe, healthy and active lifestyle. And of particular importance is the prevention of falls, which cause serious injuries to thousands of older Americans each year.” 

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has concluded that falls and other injuries may lead to a spiral of inactivity and decline that take older people close to or below the critical "thresholds" of performance necessary for everyday activities. The good news is that the primary risk factors for falls such as low strength and power, poor balance, poor gait and functional ability, and fear of falling are all modifiable with tailored exercise programs and other forms of injury prevention that can keep you safe.

5 Essential Injury Prevention Tips for Senior Adults 

  1. Falls – Falls are linked to injury and event death in all age groups, but older adults are especially vulnerable. Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injury for men and women 65 and older and account for nearly one-third of unintentional injury-related deaths for this population. Risk factors include increasing age, decreased activity and strength, poor balance, impaired vision, osteoporosis, dementia, and multiple medications and illnesses. However, many of these falls can be prevented by making changes in the physical environment such as reducing household hazards, beginning an exercise program to improve balance and strength, and having regular health screenings to monitor medications and changes in vision.

  2. Exercise – It is important to exercise regularly to build strength, improve your balance and increase coordination to prevent fall injuries. Ask your doctor or a licensed physical therapist about the best injury prevention exercises for you.

  3. Home Modification – Many fall injuries occur in or around the home and can be prevented easily. You can fall-proof your home by keeping stairs and walkways clear, using non-skid mats and throw rugs, installing grab bars in bathrooms, and keeping stairways and other areas of the home well lit. You can also prevent fall injuries by wearing sturdy, well-fitting shoes with non-slip soles. Finally, take your time and make sure you have your balance when standing up.

  4. Medication Safety – Medication errors are another common risk among senior adults that can be very serious. You can prevent medication errors and resulting injuries by taking your medications EXACTLY as they are intended. That means taking them only when and how they are prescribed and in the correct dosage. 

    Always take your medicine until it is finished or until your doctor says it is okay to stop. If you have difficulty remembering when to take your medications, you can use a memory aid or ask a family member or medical professional to help. Examples include charts, calendars and pillboxes as well as taking your medicines at routine times such as mealtime and bedtime. If you have questions about your medication, always speak to your doctor.

  5. Vision – Poor vision is another primary cause of injuries to older Americans that can be prevented.See your eye specialist once a year to check your vision. You can also help to prevent injuries by improving the lighting in your home. Install a nightlight between the bedroom and bathroom and always turn on the lights before using the stairs.

Collin adds, “By following these expert tips, you can prevent common injuries or significantly reduce their likelihood of occurring. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. But if you ever do sustain a serious injury, the short-term rehabilitation professionals at Bryn Mawr Terrace excel at getting you back to health and home, while also teaching you how to prevent future injuries.” 

RenewAll Short-Term Rehabilitation: Injury Prevention and Recovery Starts Here

At Bryn Mawr Terrace, the RenewAll Short-Term & Medically Complex Care program has been developed specifically for successful injury recovery, prevention education and a return to the things in life you most enjoy doing.

The RenewAll program balances medical management and physical rehabilitation to support effective injury recovery. With an interdisciplinary approach that includes a care team of medical professionals, therapists, nurses, nutrition specialists and discharge planners, individuals in our short-term rehabilitation program receive the care they need for a smooth transition to home.

To learn more about our personalized short-term rehab and care plans, give us a call or find details about our services on our website.

We’d Love to Hear Your Thoughts! 

If you have comments or questions about our blog on injury prevention for senior adults, we’d love to hear from you. We encourage you to share any of your caregiving experiences with us in our comments section. 

We also invite you to read our monthly articles and tips on a variety of important senior health topics, and we welcome you to stop in for a tour to see for yourself why we’ve been rated “Best in Senior Care.” 

A Healthy Tradition of Care and Wellness

There are times when the challenges associated with advanced age, a prolonged illness or a chronic condition make 24-hour care and support a necessity. At Bryn Mawr Terrace, we’re always here for you and your family. Our compassionate, professional team treats our residents as family and respects each of them as the individuals they are, all with their own unique life story.

We understand that each one of our residents has unique needs and desires, so we deliver personalized care and services that are tailored to each individual. The amenities and activities offered within our community are designed to keep our residents happy, fulfilled and living well. From delicious dining to a variety of social programming, we offer a lifestyle that’s meant to be lived!

Located near Bryn Mawr Hospital, Bryn Mawr Terrace – part of Main Line Senior Care Alliance – has provided exceptional care and services to seniors and their families since 1966. It’s a tradition we’re proud to continue. 

Today, Bryn Mawr Terrace serves as a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), offering a range of services – including short-term rehabilitation, traditional nursing care, independent living, personal care, memory care, restorative care and respite care – all in a setting that is warm, welcoming and nurturing. 

For more information on Bryn Mawr Terrace and our variety of needs-based lifestyle services, please call us at (610) 525-8300 or contact us online.

Disclaimer: The articles and tip sheets on this website are offered by Bryn Mawr Terrace and Main Line Senior Care Alliance for general informational and educational purposes and do not constitute legal or medical advice. For legal or medical advice, please contact your attorney or physician.

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