Standing Steady: 8 Essential Fall Prevention Tips for Seniors
Every 11 seconds a senior is rushed to the emergency room for a fall. As you age your risk for falling increases and the results can be devastating.
The best way to stop yourself from becoming a victim is with prevention. If you know that your medications make you tired and bog you down, talk to your doctor about alternatives. Keep yourself active as a senior and remove hazards from your home.
Performing these fall prevention methods is a good start but they aren’t the only tactics you can use. Keep reading to learn how to keep yourself safe throughout your golden years.
1. Go to the Doctor
Your doctor is the ultimate partner in elderly fall prevention. If you notice that taking your medications makes you feel dizzy, make an appointment. Give your physician a complete list of medications that you’re taking.
They’ll be able to look at the medication’s side effects, determine if they are a threat, and offer up alternatives to the ones that pose a problem.
If you’ve fallen before, your doctor will need to know as many details involving the event that you’re willing to offer up. The more information you give them, the easier it will be for them to come up with solutions to make sure another incident doesn’t happen.
2. Stay Active
It might be hard but if you don’t stay active as a senior, your chances for falling will increase. Exercise strengthens your balance and flexibility while keeping your muscles in tip-top shape.
You don’t have to do anything extreme. Walking, swimming, tai chi, and yoga are all simple exercises that are easy for the elderly to participate in.
If you’re still afraid that you can’t handle it, talk to your doctor. They’ll hear your concerns and suggest a few workout programs that might work for you.
3. Wear the Right Shoes
Flip-flops, high-heels, and loose sneakers might look great with your favorite outfits but wearing them could cause you to fall. They can also be killer on the joints.
Switch them out for a pair of sensible shoes that are nonskid with a low heel. You might not be making a fashion statement but you’ll be safe.
4. Fall-Proof Your Home
You don’t know how many fall hazards are around your home until it’s too late. Pick up any obstacles like cardboard boxes, newspapers, and cords that are taking up residence in your walkways. Your house will look less cluttered and you’ll be safer.
Rugs look great, especially on hardwood floors but they are a hazard. That doesn’t mean that you have to get rid of them. Secure them with double-sided tape or thumbtacks.
Floorboards don’t last forever. Depending on how old your house is, you may have a few loose boards sitting around but it’s no big deal.
All you have to do is call someone to come repair them before you trip over them.
One place where falls happen the most is in the bathtub. To prevent this, invest in a non-slip bathmat and pick up a little seat so you can sit while you shower.
If you live in an assisted living home, you don’t get as much control over some of the tactics discussed here. See more here to find out who to go to make a claim and get compensation if you fall due to negligence.
5. Keep the Lights on
It’s hard for you to avoid obstacles in your house if you can’t see them. Make sure that your home is well lit at all times of the day and night.
Place night lights in your bedroom and bathroom so if you get up in the middle of the night, you’ll be able to see where you’re going.
If a night light feels too childish, pick up a small lamp to put on your bedside table.
Replace your old outdated light switches with ones that are backlit. That way you’ll always know where they are if you need them. No matter how dark it is in your house.
Keep a flashlight stashed in every room so you have a backup in case a storm decides to blow through your area and knock out your power.
6. There’s Nothing Wrong with a Little Assistance
Sometimes you need a little assistance with getting around and that’s okay. Using a walker or cane can help you keep your mobility and independence.
You should also consider having handrails installed on your staircase. That’s not the only place where you should install rails. Having them in your shower can help you lower and lift yourself out of the tub with ease.
Using rails or armrests in tandem with a raised toilet seat will allow you to use the bathroom without an incident.
7. Build Strong Bones
No matter how diligently you stick to these fall prevention tips, sometimes you still can’t avoid one. What you can avoid are fractures and broken bones.
Build up those strong bones by getting plenty of calcium and vitamin D in your diet. Try to cut smoking out of your life and decrease your alcohol consumption. Neither of these substances is good for bone mass.
8. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Do what you have to do to get plenty of sleep at night. If you’re tired, your response time will be hindered and you won’t be 100% aware of your surroundings. This is a recipe for disaster.
If you’re feeling tired, give in to the allure of sleep and take a nap before you try to get up and walk around. Either that or limit how much you move while exhausted.
Fall Prevention Tactics for Seniors
As you get older, you become more vulnerable to falling. Falls can have a devastating result ranging from fractured bones to death. Make sure to take care of yourself in your golden years by practicing some of the fall prevention tips that we’ve discussed here.
Falls isn’t the only thing that you have to worry about when you’re a senior. Check out the health section of our blog daily for even more wellness tips and tricks.