Las Vegas, NV – You would think that falling wouldn’t be an issue of interest at a retirees conference but when clinical nurse specialist Cheryl Bradas asked how many attending IAM delegates had experienced a fall since they retired, more than a third of the audience raised their hands. The incidents of falling for seniors is on the increase. In 2011, there were 11,000 incidents daily in the US for seniors age 65 or older. In fact, one in three older adults will fall and one in five who fall will suffer a serious injury. Falling is the leading cause of injurious death for people over the age of 65.
“People with diabetes, weakened muscles and those recovering from a stroke are more prone to falling because they will alter the way they walk or move after their first fall,” says Bradas. Poor lighting, unsecured area rugs and slippery bathtubs make the bathroom, kitchen and hallways hazardous for seniors. “A simple thing like a night light in the bathroom or bedroom goes a long toward preventing a fall,” explained Bradas. “Non-skid backing for area rugs, installing grab bars and rubber mats in the tub make the bathroom a safer place.”
Clinical Nurse Specialist Victoria Bowden also gave delegates helpful tips on preparing for doctor’s appointments. “Most seniors dislike going to the doctor but they can make the experience bearable if they follow a few simple steps,” explained Bowden. “Bring an updated list of your medications, write down your symptoms and bring a monitoring list for such things as blood pressure and blood sugar levels, as well as test results from any recent visits to a specialist. All of these things will go a long way to assisting your doctor and making your visit shorter.”
So how interested were the delegates in what these clinical nurse specialists had to say? The fact that delegates spent more than half of the presentation asking questions which spilled over into the morning break, said it all.