According to the Mayo Clinic, falls are the leading cause of injury for seniors and the main reason seniors lose their independence. One in three seniors falls every year. Falls can result in serious injuries such as broken bones, hip fractures, cuts, and head injuries.
Over half of all falls happen at home; fortunately they are preventable. Here are 5 simple tips for preventing a fall.
Get a Check up- Talk to your doctor about how comfortable you are with walking. Be sure to mention symptoms such as joint pain, dizziness, abnormal breathing, or numbness. Also review all medication you are taking with your doctor. Some medications can interact with others to cause side effects that put you at a greater risk of falling. Discuss any problems with vision with your doctor and make sure your eyeglass prescription is current.
Exercise- Physical activity improves your flexibility, balance, muscle strength, coordination and confidence, all of which you need to reduce your risk of falling. Physical therapists can help you create a custom exercise program that fits your needs if you need help getting started.
Shopping for Shoes- It’s time to invest in some sturdy, supportive shoes. Look for shoes that are non-skid and get help making sure they are the proper size and fit. It is not a good idea to walk around the house in socks, slippers, or sandals.
Check your Home- It is important to safeguard your home against common hazards. Keep high traffic areas clear of clutter, tripping hazards, and loose rugs. In bathrooms consider adding nonslip mats, grab bars, and shower seats.
Increase Lighting- Make sure you have adequate lighting at night in hallways and along the path from the bedroom to bathroom. Keep areas around light switches clutter-free and keep staircases well light.
Need more support? Talk to your doctor about the use of a cane or walker as you feel the need for additional support.
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