Utah is home to the healthiest seniors in the USA, but even they are not safe from the threat of accidents and the injuries that came with them. Frailer bodies, compromised immune systems, and slower healing times make injuries a lot more severe as one progresses in age.
Close to 500 seniors are injured in car crashes daily, with 15 of them succumbing to injuries from the accident. The older you are, the higher chance of getting involved in an accident and the higher the probability of injury. Several factors increase the chances of seniors getting into an accident.
Vision is often a significant factor as most seniors will often have vision problems, especially during the night. Slower reflexes also factor in. Most seniors experience a decline in cognitive functions and motor coordination, some even more exacerbated by medication they are taking. Weaker bones and musculature also leave seniors more prone to injury.
Slight fender benders that would have otherwise left them uninjured when they were younger can now cause a severe case of whiplash. Car accidents are mostly preventable. Drive only on the best conditions and never during the night or after taking medication. Get a bit of exercise if you still can. Physical activity can somewhat maintain and improve your musculature as well as keep your reflexes sharp.
Accidental fires and the injuries they cause are the second leading cause of accidental death in seniors. While motor coordination issues and physical frailty account for some of these accidents, cognitive problems and memory lapses also play a significant role. Seniors have significantly slower healing times, and most don’t respond well to burn treatments and remedies, prolonging their hospital treatment and increasing their chances of succumbing to their injuries.
One way to limit the risk of fires is to switch from regular stoves to induction stoves. Gas and electric stoves produce considerable heat. However, induction stoves remain cool to the touch even when cooking. Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors around the house, preferably ones that immediately alert emergency services. Burns from hot water can also be dangerous, so install anti-scald devices in your faucets and showers.
Slips and falls remain the leading cause of injuries among seniors. Vision problems, mobility issues, and vertigo are just some of the factors that contribute to the increased risk of falling among seniors. Senior bones are a bit more fragile, and a simple fall can lead to several fractures or worse.
Hip fractures are especially dangerous, claiming the lives of 33% of seniors within a year of the injury. Slips and falls most often occur inside one’s house. Ninety percent of falls occur in the bathroom, so making a few changes there can make your home exceedingly safer.
Clear the floor of mats, rugs, or anything that can slip from underneath or get snagged on a cane or mobility aid. Install grab bars leading to the toilet and have adequate supports around it. Use a stool or chair when taking a shower or opt for a walk-in tub.
Most accidents are mostly preventable. Specific measures to avoid them are essential, especially since seniors are more prone to injury.