Did you know…? One in three older adults go to the emergency room for fall related injuries. Worse yet, one in five falls result in death. Finding ways to prevent a fall from taking place is a good idea.Your continued good health might depend on it.
1. Talk with the people closest to you; be a team
Whether you are afraid to talk to your adult children because to you, it may mean putting something else on their “full plates” or if you are a loved one who is unsure how to approach the topic it is important to address this issue. Preventing falls can be a team effort, and there are several ways to address this issue together.
2. Schedule an annual eye exam
A person who has vision problems is twice as likely to have a fall than a person who does not. Make sure your prescription is updated so that you are seeing at your best. The bonus is that an annual eye exam may detect other eye diseases, which if not caught early on, are more difficult to treat. Keep your vision health an annual priority.
3. Be physically active
Despite popular belief, if you stay active this will help you to restore strength and flexibility. This can help increase awareness of your body which allows you to know where you are stepping. Even if you have not been a physically active person it is not too late to start. For anyone, working on strength and flexibility will enable you to maintain your independence!
4. Know the effects of medications
When you are prescribed with new medication ask your doctor about side effects. Know if it may cause dizziness or sleepiness, and be aware of how this may affect you during your day. Talk with your doctor about adjusting medications or your daily routine in order to prevent a fall.
5. Consider home modifications
Falls can happen by tripping on a rug, missing a step, or in a bathroom that does not have proper equipment. Consider removing rugs around the house. Make sure all stairs have railing to hold onto, and installing grab bars in the bathroom will also help prevent a fall.
6. Personal adaptive equipment
Using a cane or walker can also help you maintain your independence while also preventing a fall. Be sure to talk with your doctor about this option, and get fitted by a physical therapist who can get you the right size equipment and teach you how to use it safely. Other adaptive equipment that could be helpful is a shower chair, or a grabber to use for objects that fall on the ground or are too high up to reach.
Home Care Assistance advises clients on fall risk and potential hazards around the house, in the course of our complimentary assessments. To find out more, give us a call, 402-763-9140.
photo credit: flying by felixtsao.