Fall Prevention 101
As we get older, the chances of suffering from a fall increase. The severity of a fall can range widely. Some falls can cause minor disability, while others can have more serious consequences. Chances are that someone you know may be at risk for a fall.
It is estimated that 1 in 3 seniors above age 65, and nearly 1 in 2 seniors over age 80, will fall at least once a year, leading to disability. This is not something that should be taken lightly.
Here’s the good news. Once you identify your (or your loved one’s) risk of falls, there are steps you can take to prevent falls.
Here are a few tips to help you identify whether you or your loved one is at risk for a serious fall.
Are you taking multiple medications? Some medications, when mixed, can have side effects like nausea that could increase your risk of falling. If you’re not sure, talk to your doctor.
Do you have trouble walking? If you regularly experience dizziness, shortness of breath, joint pain, or any other difficulties when you walk, talk to your doctor.
Are you exercising regularly? Regular exercise can help strengthen your muscles and improve your balance and coordination so you won’t feel as unsteady on your feet. If you’re afraid of falling while you exercise, your doctor can refer you to one of our physical therapists, who can supervise your exercises.
Are you wearing the right shoes? Walking in shoes that don’t fit properly can increase your risk of falling. Avoiding shoes in favor of stockings is dangerous, too, so try to wear proper-fitting shoes with non-skid soles as much as possible.
Is your home full of fall hazards?
Area rugs might add color to your home and uneven carpets may seem inconspicuous, but they can be a hazard. Make sure they have some sort of slip-resistant backing to them, even if you just use double-sided tape to secure them to the floor.
Remove clutter from walkways.
Tape down electrical and phone cards so you don’t trip over them.
Use non-slip mats in your bath and/or shower.