NEW OLEAR BANNERToday, I?m going to ask you to do me a favor. I promise it won?t take more than a couple of minutes, but it could prove to have both financial and health benefits for you and your loved ones ? especially if you are a senior or have friends or family members in their senior years.

Your assignment is to take a quick look around your house (or anywhere a senior friend or family member may reside) for items that might cause a fall. Are the floors free of clutter? How about the staircases? Are there throw rugs that could cause trips and falls? Are there any electrical cords out in the open? Is there a rubber mat in the shower or tub to help prevent slips?

Now, how can any of these things prove beneficial to someone?s health and/or pocketbook? Well, these items are the leading causes of falls in the home. And according to the National Institute of Health, more than 1.6 million older Americans end up in emergency rooms each year following a fall. One out of every five falls results in a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury.

From the financial aspect, medical costs for fall injuries amount to a staggering $34 billion annually, with hospital costs accounting for approximately two-thirds of that total.

Rather than put yourself or a senior loved one at risk, look for solutions to problem areas around the home. A couple of minutes spent on this task today could ensure health and financial security for weeks, months and years to come!