How to Prevent Falls

September 14, 2022 / Senior Living Community
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Senior woman with cane on the floor needs help getting up after a fall. Find fall prevention tips at Ponte Palmero.

As we age, our balance shifts, and falls become more common. While falls may sound like no need for concern, the risks and consequences of falling are heightened in old age. Something as silly as tripping over a carpet can lead to a broken bone, concussion, or hip fracture. And unfortunately, the body takes longer to heal as we age. A fall can put someone in the hospital with a long recovery ahead.

If you or a loved one has fallen in the past, you understand the seriousness of this matter. And you aren't alone; one in three people aged 65 and older fall each year. So, how do we prevent falls?

First, we must understand the causes and risk factors. Many factors can lead to a fall. As mentioned before, balance is one of the biggest factors, especially if you're battling an illness. Some medicines can also lead to dizziness or sleepiness, leading to a fall. Other causes are safety hazards in the home, such as stairs or an uneven sidewalk outside the home.

Tips to Prevent Falls

Practicing fall prevention is critical for senior health and well-being. The following tips can help prevent a fall at home or when out and about:

  • Make sure you wear the right shoe wear. As much as you love those heels, it's time to switch to flat shoes. Also, make sure you're not wearing sandals or other open-toe shoes.
  • Stay physically active. While the risk of a fall may create caution around walking, it's important to exercise. This will help keep your muscles strong!
  • Don't forget to get your eyes checked regularly. Even small changes in sight can lead to a fall. If you get new eyeglasses, take your time to get used to them and exercise caution.
  • Be aware of the side effects of your medicine. Talk with your doctor about potential side effects of medicine and the risk of taking multiple medicines at once.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol your drink. Alcohol affects your balance and reflexes; furthermore, studies have shown that the rate of hip fractures increases when older adults drink alcohol.
  • Use an assistive device. If you've noticed you’re a little wobblier, try walking with a cane or walker. These devices can provide extra support while still offering freedom to walk.

These are only a few tips to take into consideration to prevent falls. If you do fall, always tell your doctor—even if you aren't hurt. A fall can alert your doctor to a new medical problem or issue with your medication. Your doctor may suggest physical therapy, a walking device, or other solutions to prevent future falls.

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