7 Fall Prevention Tips For Seniors
Did you know that about a quarter of American senior citizens(folks aged 65 years and above)fall each year? In most cases, victims of these falls rarely ever remain the same. If the fall is not a fatal one, it often results in broken bones, bruises, concussions, and a range of mental health issues.
The good news is that you can avoid such situations once you understand the reasons and risks associated with falls among seniors. The first step in handling this issue would be educating oneself about senior citizens' falls.
That leads us to the next step: finding out about senior mobility and fall prevention tips for seniors. This article will be looking at 7 fall prevention tips for seniors that could save you from contributing to the statistics about falling seniors.
Let’s get to it.
Have A Regular Schedule For Exercise
As strange as it might sound, seniors can prevent falls by regularly exercising. Exercise keeps the muscle strong. Say you spend a minimum of 150 minutes every week on exercise, you become stronger and more likely to cope with the physical challenges that often lead to falls.
The secret is to get your caregiver to create a schedule of exercise activities that target your balance, strength training, and flexibility. This improves your gait, balance, and muscle coordination and keeps you in peak physical condition so that you carry yourself better and reduce the chances of falling.
Some other benefits of engaging in regular activity are
- Healthy bones
- Reduced risk of osteoporosis
- Improved physical condition
- Reduced postural hypotension
- Reduced injuries in the event of a fall
Make The House Fall-Proof
Some seniors prefer to spend their twilight years in their homes instead of at an older people's home. However, many falls happen around their houses because they are not designed to reduce the risk of falls.
Fall-proofing your house is not expensive, and there are some simple steps that you could take to make it as safe as possible:
- Try to fix grab bars on the stairs, bathtub, and near the toilet
- You could get a shower chair
- Ensure that you arrange your furniture in such a way that allows free movement around the house.
- Try as much as you can to reduce the clutter around your home to the barest minimum. Secure the wiring and anything that could cause tripping.
- Use non-slip mats in the kitchen and bathroom
- Reduce the incidence of wet floors in and around the house
- Keep those things you use regularly close by and within reach
- Ensure that your home is well lit, especially the bathroom and staircases
Wear The Right Shoes
The kinds of shoes seniors wear when going about their daily activities plays a vital role in if they fall or not. Much as high heels are fashionable and classy, they may not be a great idea for seniors to wear because they shorten strides and increase the chances of slips and falls. Slip-on backless shoes and loose-fitting shoes are also in the same category.
So what to do?
Always wear low-heeled, rubber-soled, and non-skid shoes. These shoes give a good grip on the ground, so they reduce the chances of slips and falls. It is also crucial that the shoes are a perfect fit for you and not a size too small or big.
Use Proper Lighting
Vision deteriorates with age, and we have already established that seniors need to stay in a well-lit home. However, how you go about lighting the house matters too. It is not enough to have bright lights around the house; the lighting must increase the visibility without adversely affecting your sight.
The trick is to use filtered natural lights or high lumen bulbs around the house because they illuminate without hurting the eyes. Depending on the style of the home, you might opt for overhead lights that provide a spread of lighting around the house.
It is equally important that you use the proper lighting in the right places.
For instance, overhead track lighting might be a great idea to use in the kitchen, while lights with low wattage or up-lighting work very well in bathrooms. We recommend using full-spectrum bulbs and high lumen bulbs for the living areas. Another great idea would be to use LED step lights for the stairs.
Get Your Eyes And Ears Checked
It is vital to get your eyes and ears checked as regularly as possible. The eyes are essential for sight, while the ears are concerned with the body's balance. It would be best to have excellent eyesight and a good sense of balance at all times.
Problems with vision and balance affect how well you carry out your daily activities. In such situations, you cannot gauge your surroundings properly, leading to bumping into objects or, worse still, slipping and falling. So have your eyes and ears checked at least once a year to enable you to detect and manage any eye and ear defects that might affect your quality of life.
Review Your Medication with Your Doctor
You are probably taking a load of medications to stay in good health at your age. Handling different medications takes a toll on the body because each medication has its side effects like confusion, lethargy, and drowsiness, among others. When you take more than one medication, you can easily be affected by these side effects that can hamper your balance or coordination.
That is why you should see your doctor regularly to review your medications about the types of medication you are taking, especially when you notice any side effects. You might need to stop that medication or have an alternative recommended for you by your physician. Either way consulting with your doctor greatly reduces the risks of falls and injury from the side effects of your medication.
Don't Hesitate To Use Help
Getting to the ripe old age of being a senior is no easy feat, and you have earned the right to get help where necessary. There is nothing to be ashamed about. So whenever you feel light in the head or shaky in the knees, get some help.
By help, we don't mean you have to scream for your caregiver. Although having an expert in caregiving around you is great, we recommend you use a cane or a walker when going about your daily activities. You might also want to install handrails and grab bars around the house as they help you move about the house without risking slips and falls.
You know what? Find the time to talk with an occupational therapist about the best kind of help for your peculiar condition.
As crazy as it might sound, slips and falls are part of life as kids, teenagers, and to some extent, young adults that are into sports. Their bodies have the strength and resilience to bounce back from any injury at that stage in their lives.
Sadly, that is not the case with seniors. A fall at the ripe old age of 65(or more) will lead to death or some serious injury that will reduce the quality of your life. That is why it is essential to avoid falling as much as possible.
This article has described 7 fall prevention tips that should help you steer clear of any situations that might lead to you falling and getting seriously injured. We hope you apply the tips we just shared with you.