With many North Carolina seniors living in nursing homes, the fear of slipping and falling has also risen. Many of the causes are preventable.

Here are the most common causes affecting residents in nursing homes.

Environment hazards

Industrial Safety & Hygiene News reports that 36% of elderly falls result in hospital emergency room visits for injuries. These injuries can increase an older adult’s risk of dying and decreased health due to fear and function loss.

Around a quarter of all falls result from environmental hazards. The most common occurring around the facility include broken equipment, walkway debris, poor lighting, improper signage and slippery floors. Properly addressing these hazards starts with removing them and then ensuring that residents have the right mobility help when needed, such as non-skid flooring or shoes, wheelchairs and staff assistance.

With a large number of residents needing help with mobility, faulty bed rails and incorrect bed heights can increase the risk of a fall. In fact, these hazards account for close to one-third of reported falls.

Patient health

The National Institute on Aging states that the fear of falling is prevalent in older adults. Unfortunately, their health can contribute to their risk of slipping and falling.

Sleepiness, confusion or dizziness is a common side effect of certain medications. These medicines often treat conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and nerve disorders that can contribute to their falling risk as well.

Not to mention that the simple process of aging can decrease a person’s ability to see clearly, properly balance or react quickly. Staying healthy and fit can help decrease these effects on older adults and lower their risk of a slip and fall incident.