According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010 15% of all emergency room visits were made by people aged 65 and over. It is estimated that by 2030, this statistic will rise to 20%.  Health issues and general weakness are a natural part of the aging process. Unfortunately, this means that injuries become more common. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to avoid injuries. Below are some of the most common ways that seniors can get hurt and tips for prevention to help you avoid having to go to rehab.
Falls are the most common injury that seniors experience. Muscle degeneration, balance impairment, and weakened senses are challenges that come with aging. Because of this, there are many places that become hazardous for seniors, particularly in their own home. One of the areas that cause a lot of injuries are staircases. To avoid problems, older adults should look into installing guardrails, stairlifts, and carpeting to eliminate slips. You should also make sure there is proper lighting that increases invisibility and does not cause any confusing shadows. If possible, one level housing, apartment living, or a Continuing Care Retirement Community with easily accessible amenities should be seriously considered when thinking about your future home.
Drivers at any age are at risk for car accidents. Other drivers, weather conditions, and distractions can affect anyone with a license. However, for seniors, it is not just about these common hazards on the road. Weaker muscles, reduced flexibility and limited range of motion restrict senior drivers’ ability to grip and turn the steering wheel, press the accelerator and brake, or reach to open doors and windows.  You should maintain regular checkups and talk with your doctor about any concerns he or she may have. Always take extra caution when driving, follow the speed limit, and avoid drugs and alcohol before operating a vehicle.
Burns can be one of the biggest risks for older adults who smoke or still cook for themselves. For those who smoke, look into purchasing a deep ashtray and fill it with water to ensure discarded butts do not turn into a fire.  When cooking, it is recommended that you use back burners to keep hot pots and pans away from the edge. Always use oven mitts and unplug any equipment you are no longer using. Avoid using candles, curling irons, and other flammable objects before bed, after drinking alcohol, or taking medications that may cause drowsiness or impair judgment. As for any household, always make sure your smoke detectors are working properly and keep a fire extinguisher in an easily accessible location.