Falls happen. According to senior fall statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four people age 65 and older will fall each year, and the National Council on Aging estimates that more than half of these falls take place at home. Luckily, many falls are preventable. Reduce your risk for taking a tumble with these tips.
1. Talk with your doctor. The CDC reports that fewer than half of the seniors who have fallen don’t admit it to their doctors, fearing a loss of independence. But it’s an important event to discuss. Your doctor may also identify a condition that could be easily corrected, such as a minor ear infection.
2. Review your medications. A new medication or a combination of prescriptions might cause you to feel dizzy or sleepy—which can lead to a fall. Ask your doctor to look into the side effects of your medications if you’ve experienced these feelings.
3. Improve your strength and balance. Exercise can help you stay on your feet. Water workouts can help build strength, and Tai Chi classes can improve balance. Walking on a treadmill while wearing a safety harness can help you relearn balancing responses as you exercise. Your doctor may also recommend a physical therapist who can come up with a fall prevention exercise routine.
4. Have your eyes checked. A change in vision could cause you to misjudge a step or miss an obstacle in your path. Have your eyes examined each year and update your glasses as necessary.
5. Wear sensible shoes. High heels, flip flops and slip-ons can cause slips and falls. Replace these with non-slip, flat shoes that have good arch support. Also, trade your regular socks in for a non-slip version, or wear shoes around the house.
6. Adapt your home. Simple home improvements, such as adding lighting to stairways or grab bars to the bathroom, can reduce the common causes of falls. Be sure to remove floor-level obstructions, such as long electrical cords and throw rugs.
7. Clean the clutter. Cleaning up piles of clutter around your home can be the easiest way to avoid falls. With a mess-free house, it’s less likely you’ll have to maneuver around anything or trip over clutter on the floor.
8. Keep an open mind. If your doctor suggests using a gait device such as a cane, don’t write it off. There are many ways you can gain your independence back after a fall by talking to your doctor and implementing fall prevention techniques into your daily routine.
The communities we manage are fall-proofed and ready for you! For more information, contact Life Care Services today.