5 Tips To Make Fall Prevention A Top Priority
Posted: 8/19/2022 8:00 AM by
There are a ton of ways you can and should keep yourself healthy. Eat a balanced diet, exercise, don’t smoke, see your doctor regularly…the list goes on.
As you age, another priority to add to your healthy checklist is learning how to prevent falls. Falling is a serious issue, especially for adults age 65 and older. According to the CDC, falls were responsible for 3 million emergency department visits in 2019, and unfortunately, 34,000 deaths were caused by falls among adults age 65+ that same year.
We don’t mean to use these statistics to scare you, but the numbers certainly shine a light on how serious falls can be. The good news is, unlike some health conditions that are hard to prevent, falls can be preventable. Here are five ways you can prevent yourself or a loved one from suffering from the dangerous effects that often result from falling.
Tip #1: Know your fall risks
Before you can prevent falls, you need to know your personal risk factors for falling–and they can look very different from person to person. We highly recommend working with your doctor to identify what your risk factors are, but here are a few to look out for:
- Lower body weakness
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Difficulties with walking and balance
- Foot pain or poor choice of footwear
- Vision problems
- Use of certain medications
- Home hazards
Tip #2: Fall-proof your home
Since home hazards are on the list of risk factors, it’s important to know how you can keep your home environment a fall-free zone. The main priority in your home should be ensuring all clutter, rugs, wires, and raised flooring or cords are out of the way. Also make sure lighting is sufficient in all areas of the home where you or your loved one spend the most time. The main areas in your home you should focus on making fall-proof, include:
- Living areas
- Rooms with rugs or carpeting
Interim HealthCare’s Home Safety and Fall Prevention Checklist is a great resource for knowing how to safeguard your home from hazards that increase the risk of falling for you or a loved ones.
Tip #3: Review your medications
Did you know taking certain medications can put you at an increased risk for falling? When you meet with your doctor to review your fall risk factors, make sure to bring a complete list of all the medicines you take. Just because you’ve taken something for a long time doesn’t mean it may still be right for you, especially if fall are now a concern. Your doctor can determine which medicines may be making you dizzy or sleepy, and they can also provide guidance on Vitamin D supplements if you have a deficiency.
Tip #4: Get your eyes checked
If you can’t see well, your risk of falling increases tremendously. Keeping a check on your vision is an easy way to prevent falls. Our vision tends to worsen as we age and can even change from year to year, so it’s crucial that you keep annual appointments with your eye doctor. And if you notice a change in your vision, give your eye doctor or primary care provider a call immediately.
Tip #5: Work on improving your balance
If you have lower body weakness and issues with balance, there are several simple exercises you can do to help. The great thing about balance exercises is they can help you build strength and even improve your posture, stability, and coordination–all of which are really important factors in fall prevention.
This is a great list of easy exercises to perform at least two to three times per week. As with any exercise routine, and especially if you haven’t exercised in a while, be sure to get cleared by your doctor before starting any new stretching or exercise regimen. And to further prevent falls, be sure to have a support person with you as you do these exercises.
Interim HealthCare helps loved ones live safely at home
Taking the time to work on fall prevention could not only mean the difference between life and death, but it can prolong your ability to live independently. Empower yourself with these tools you need to continue living a healthy and fall-free life. If you need an extra set of hands to assist you, our a loved one, our Personal Care and Support Services at Interim can help.