Seniors fall for a variety of reasons. The normal aging process brings physical changes to your body, and you may experience a decrease in your overall strength and mobility. Or, changes in your vision may affect how well you’re able to see objects blocking your path. Medication side effects like dizziness or weakness are often to blame for senior falls, too.
Regardless of the reason for the fall, knowing how to prevent one from occurring can be key to your overall quality of life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the number one cause of injuries in those age 65 and older. In fact, every year more than 2.5 million older individuals are treated in emergency rooms for an injury due to a fall. And, after you’ve fallen once, your chances of falling again actually double.
Senior Fall Prevention Tips
Although it’s impossible to prevent accidents from occurring altogether, the good news is that the majority of falls can be avoided by taking a few extra precautions. Some important fall prevention tips include:
- Make Adjustments in the Home: It’s important to remove items like loose cords, throw rugs or low furniture like ottomans from high traffic areas. Additionally, keep hallways and stairways clear of clutter so they are easy to navigate day or night.
- Live an Active, Healthy Lifestyle: Regular exercise helps keep your muscles and bones strong, so try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day to improve muscle strength, flexibility, balance and coordination. Plus, your diet should include nutritious choices packed with plenty of calcium and vitamin D to further strengthen your bones.
- Be Aware of Medication Side Effects: Seniors are usually on a variety of both prescription and over-the-counter medications, which often have side effects that can affect balance or cause weakness. The next time you visit your doctor or pharmacist, bring a list of medications you’re currently taking so you can discuss any negative interactions that might put you at a higher risk for a fall.
- Maintain Your Annual Doctor Appointments: In addition to bringing your medication list with you when you visit the doctor, make sure you’re scheduling and keeping your annual appointments. Being able to see and hear clearly is key in preventing falls, so if you notice any recent changes, make an appointment with your eye doctor or hearing center right away.
- Invest in the Right Shoes: Wear shoes that fit your feet perfectly, provide good support and have thick, non-skid soles. While walking around in soft cuddly slippers or stockinged feet may be comfortable, on wooden or tiled floors this can be extremely dangerous and easily cause a fall.
Enjoy an Active Lifestyle at Western Home Communities
Find the freedom and fun you’re looking for at Western Home Communities. Along with beautiful independent living options, residents have security for the future, too, with supportive services like assisted living, memory care and rehabilitation provided in one convenient location. To learn more about our living options or to schedule a tour of our senior living community, contact us today at (319) 277-2141.