For older adults, falls can be detrimental; hip fractures and head injuries top the list of concern. In fact, every 15 seconds an older adult is seen in the emergency department for fall-related injuries. There are, however, ways to prevent falls. Here are some safety tips for you, your family and older adults in your life.
Regular exercise can assist with balance, strength and flexibility. Even moderate movement can increase your ability to balance when conditions are somewhat less than favorable (think snow, ice, or even rain). As we know, weakened bones are a concern as people age, and weight bearing exercises will help keep bones strong, minimizing the likelihood of fractures.
Keeping your home safe is essential to prevent unnecessary falls. Remove tripping hazards (dog toys or small area rugs) and make sure lighting is not dim. Installing emergency grab bars can also aid in the prevention of falls.
Get Annual Check-ups.
Get your vision checked annually to make sure you’re seeing properly. Also make sure to talk to your doctor about any prescriptions you’re taking. Some prescriptions may increase dizziness.
It’s important for families to know about the frequency and severity of fall-related injuries. It’s an issue that affects not only the older adult population, but also their friends and family members who will be responsible for helping them get back on their feet again. The more knowledge we have about prevention, the more we can help our family members stay safe. In addition, physical therapy can reduce your risk of falls. Consider consulting with a PT for helpful tips about how to strengthen your body to help you stay on your feet!