How Can Seniors Prevent Falls – Top 3 Tips

On average, without prevention efforts, one-third of people over the age of 65 will experience one or more falls per year. Falls are the most common cause of injury and the 6th leading cause of death for seniors. The home is the most commonplace for older adults to fall, so there are some precautions seniors can take to reduce the risk of falls. Following these few simple tips and making some changes in your home can be hugely beneficial to preventing injury and even death.

1. Reduce Trip/Slip Hazards

Making small and inexpensive changes throughout your home can prevent falls. Ensure that areas in your home are well lit, and that light switches are easily accessible near doorways. Handrails and banisters are incredibly crucial as they will provide much-needed support. Marking edges of all steps with contrasting colours or non-skid tape/paint increases visibility. Marking should be done on all steps, not just the top and the last – falls can happen anywhere. Avoid the use of unstable step stools if you are unsure of your balance, and place frequently used and heavy items on lower shelves to avoid the use of stools entirely – and don’t be afraid to ask for help! If you have family or friends around, they would be happy to assist you in avoiding potential accidents.

2. Frequent Your Doctor’s Office

Regular checkups and monitoring your health are incredibly important. Know what medications you are taking, even those that are over-the-counter and talk to your doctor or pharmacist about possible side effects. Drugs can have an unexpected impact on your body because, as you age, your body processes drugs differently. Certain medications, or combinations of medications, may make you dizzy, drowsy, or sleepy. All of these factors can contribute to a potential fall. Individuals over the age of 65 should have a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year because they have an increased risk of developing some eye conditions and diseases. Those with vision impairments also have higher chances of falls and severe hip fractures. Being proactive and correcting vision problems is a valuable step in fall prevention.

3. Keep Your Body Moving

There is nothing more important than keeping your body moving and functional. The best way to prevent falls is to live a healthy and active lifestyle. Improving mobility and balance will allow you to not only prevent falls but live more confidently. Exercises like Tai Chi can significantly enhance both balance and coordination and are most helpful. Engage in regular physical activity – this can be as simple as taking frequent walks. Talk with your doctor, and they can help you figure out the best exercises for you.

With the help of family, friends and doctors, seniors can stay safe and prevent falls from occurring. Do you have a story about a fall you’d like to share with us? If so, contact us anytime, we are happy to share your experience to help educate our readers!

 

Preventing Falls in Seniors