NEW METLIFE MATURE MARKET INSTITUTE PUBLICATION ON FALLS AND FALL PREVENTION PROVIDES TIPS FOR EVERYONE, WITH FOCUS ON THOSE MOST VULNERABLE: OLDER AMERICANS AND CHILDREN
Westport, CT – August 23, 2011 – The MetLife Mature Market Institute has a new publication available free to the public, The Essentials: Falls and Fall Prevention,produced in cooperation with the National Alliance for Caregiving.
The booklet, available at www.maturemarketinstitute.com provides information on the risk factors for falls and contains a number of tips that individuals can engage to help themselves and their loved ones avoid falls. Most falls are not age-related and many can be prevented, but age often plays a role in the type of fall or injury.
“Accidental falls cause the majority of injury-related visits to the emergency room in the U.S. and they’re the leading cause of accidental death in people over the age of 65,” said Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D., director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute. “In children, falls are the most common cause of injury visits to the hospital, accounting for two million such trips each year.”
For elders, the publication stresses the importance of taking care of vision, hearing and other health-related issues. As people age they are more likely to have chronic illnesses that increase the chance of falls and they may be taking multiple medications whose side effects may cause unsteadiness. It is important for individuals and their family members to notify their doctors of changes that could lead to risk for falls.
Environmental hazards are particularly dangerous and are the easiest to safeguard against. Elders and their loved ones should ensure the following, to assist with elder fall-prevention efforts:
- Keep their homes well lit and free of clutter.
- Fix loose carpeting, uneven flooring and unsafe outdoor walkways.
- Make sure stairways have railings, that bathtubs and showers have grab bars and that furniture is neither too high, nor too low to negotiate safely.
- Wear proper shoes and the right eyeglasses.
- Avoiding alcohol.
- Move cautiously, rather than suddenly.
For children, the guide suggests that parents maintain close supervision, especially as toddlers try new skills like standing, climbing and jumping.
- Parents are advised to help children avoid some of the most common dangers, such as open windows, stairways and sharp edges on furniture.
- Certain products, like baby walkers, should not be used as they have been known to cause more injuries than any other nursery product for children between the ages of five and 15 months old.
- All children’s equipment should meet safety standards and parents should read instructions associated with cribs, mattresses and bumper pads.
The Essentials: Falls and Fall Prevention provides information from sources including: AARP, Dynamic Living, Fall Prevention Center of Excellence, the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, the National Safety Council, Temple University’s Fall Prevention Project and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The Essentials: Falls and Fall Prevention may be downloaded from www.MatureMarketInstitute.com. The publication can also be ordered through Contact Us on the MetLife Mature Market Institute Web site, or by writing to: MetLife Mature Market Institute, 57 Greens Farms Road, Westport, CT 06880 or MatureMarketInstitute@metlife.com
National Alliance for Caregiving
Established in 1996, the National Alliance for Caregiving is a nonprofit coalition of national organizations that focuses on issues of family caregiving across the life span. The Alliance was created to conduct research, do policy analysis, develop national programs, and increase public awareness of family caregiving issues. http://www.caregiving.org
The MetLife Mature Market Institute®
The MetLife Mature Market Institute is MetLife’s center of expertise in aging, longevity and the generations and is a recognized thought leader by business, the media, opinion leaders and the public. The Institute’s groundbreaking research, insights, strategic partnerships and consumer education expand the knowledge and choices for those in, approaching or working with the mature market.
The Institute supports MetLife’s long-standing commitment to identifying emerging issues and innovative solutions for the challenges of life. MetLife, Inc. is a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers in over 60 countries. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, please visit: www.MatureMarketInstitute.com.