5 Easy Ways To Prevent Falling At Home
Falls are one of the leading causes of injury death for senior citizens. Fortunately, most of the falls that occur each year can be prevented with these five simple tips.
Our elderly family members are at an increased risk for suffering a fall in their own home. According to the Center for Disease Control, one third of adults who are over the age of 65 fall each year and 21,700 people died from a fall-related injury in 2010.
Some of the common injuries as a result of falls include lacerations, head trauma or hip fractures. It's also just plain scary to fall and not be able to move. The good news is that there are a number of things that can be done to prevent a fall from occurring.
The following five precautionary tips can help our elderly family members avoid falling.
- Exercise regularly. Exercising is one of the best things that you can do to prevent yourself from falling. It helps increase your balance, coordination, strength and flexibility. You should engage in low-impact exercise most days out of the week for a minimum of 30 minutes. Tai chi, swimming and walking are examples of low-impact exercise. Additionally, your doctor may recommend that you participate in physical therapy. A physical therapist can create a custom exercise program for you.
- Understand the effects of your medication. There are a number of medications that can increase your risk of falling. Certain drugs can lower your blood pressure and cause you to feel dizziness and/or confused. Some medications can interact with other meds and produce unpleasant side effects. That is why you should make an appointment with your doctor and discuss the medications that you are using and be aware of its side effects.
- Get your vision and hearing checked. You should get your vision and hearing checked at least once a year. You may need to get glasses or have your current prescription changed. If you think you hearing is weak, getting a hearing device would help you better understand your surroundings. You will be less likely to suffer a fall if your vision and hearing is good. You should also keep your house well lit and the walkways clear. You will need to put night-lights in your bathroom, bedrooms and hallway.
- Use assistive devices. There are several devices that can help make it easier for you to get around your home. This includes things such as canes, walkers and custom-made shoes. You may also want to consider getting a medical alert device to alleviate your fear of falling down and give you piece of mind. If you fall, the only thing that you will have to do is push a button, or let the automatic fall alert sensors initiate the call for you. Emergency monitoring personnel will answer the signal promptly, respond to your emergency and take appropriate actions. New technology is now making automatic fall detection monitoring a reliable option for many.
- Make changes in daily lifestyle. As you grow older, the daily activities that seemed effortless earlier could feel more strenuous. You can feel stronger and more energetic by eating a more balanced diet, drinking more water and less alcohol, supplementing with the right vitamins and minerals. You could also ask a family member or hire a professional to help you with bathing, eating, dressing and other daily activities as a secondary precaution.
For more tips on how to prevent falls at home, download our free guide "50+ Ways To Prevent Falls".