According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) falls are the most frequent source of injury for seniors, with more than one in three people 65 or older taking a spill each year. About 20% of falls cause a serious health issue such as a broken bone or head injury. And those who fall once are twice as likely to fall again, according to the CDC.
5 TIPS TO PREVENT FALLS:
1. Get Moving! Go for regular walks. Consider joining your local Senior Center to participate in group exercise.
2. Medical Conditions that can affect balance. Anemia, inner-ear disorders, dehydration and low blood pressure can throw off your balance. Other conditions that may increase your fall risk include Parkinson’s disease, neuropathy often caused by diabetes, dementia, a history of stroke, and arthritis. Have your doctor assess you for health conditions that could be affecting your balance. He or she may prescribe physical therapy to strengthen your muscles and improve your balance, flexibility, and endurance.
3. Vision Issues. Schedule an annual eye exam with your ophthalmologist or optometrist to check for age-related eye diseases, such as Glaucoma, Cataracts, or Macular Degeneration. Take extra care if you’ve recently purchased multifocal eyeglass lenses, as they can impair depth perception until you become used to them.
4. Assess your home. More than 75% of falls take place in or near the home, according to the National Council on Aging. Remove throw rugs, and electrical cords that may cause slips and trip. Make sure you have a clear pathway to maneuver through the home– check for books, and clutter on the floor. Light up the path from your bed to bathroom. Consider having grab bars installed inside the tub and next to the toilet.
5. Review medications. Some medications, including sleeping pills and anti-anxiety drugs can leave you feeling groggy or off-balance. If your doctor recommends any new medication, ask about side effects that could cause grogginess or balance problems, and be sure to take the meds as prescribed!
If you have questions or need senior resources, please reach out to me. My service is FREE to seniors and their families. I can help you find options for in-home care, Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Hospice…anything senior related!