As people age, their bodies become weaker and more prone to injuries, so falls are one of the most typical causes of injury among seniors and can lead to serious health complications or even death. For this reason, seniors and their family members need to be aware of the risks associated with falls so that they can take steps to prevent them from occurring. This article will discuss the dangers of falls for seniors and strategies to prevent fall-related injuries.
Make a meeting with your primary care physician.
Make a meeting with your primary care physician to begin. Your healthcare provider may want to discuss the following topics with you to assess your risk and discuss how to prevent fall-related injuries :
Please list your prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements, or bring them to your appointment. Hence, your doctor can check your medicines for side effects and drug interactions that may increase your risk of falling. In addition to more strategies to prevent fall-related injuries, your doctor may suggest weaning you off medications that make you tired or impair your thinking, such as sedatives, antihistamines, and some antidepressants.
Any previous mishaps.
Note the specifics, such as when, where, and how you fell, and then prepare to talk about times when you were about to fall but were caught by someone or managed to grab something just in time. Indeed, details like these can help your doctor identify specific prevention fall strategies.
Your medical conditions.
Careful eye and ear conditions can increase your risk of falling. Briefly prepare to discuss your health conditions and how comfortable you are when you walk, such as whether you experience dizziness, joint discomfort, breath shortness, or numbness in your feet and legs. Furthermore, your doctor may also assess your muscle strength, balance, and walking style (gait).
Physical Activity Can Help Prevent Fall-Related Injuries.
Consider walking, water exercise, or tai chi — a gentle workout that involves slow and graceful dance-like movements — with your doctor’s approval. Indeed, these activities help to improve strength, such as balance, coordination, and flexibility, which reduces the risk of falling. Inform your healthcare provider if you avoid physical activity because you fear it will increase your chances of losing. Hence, your provider may advise you to participate in carefully observed exercise programs or refer you to a physical therapist. Moreover, the physical therapist can design a personalized exercise program to improve balance, flexibility, and muscle strength.
Put on sensible shoes.
Consider changing your footwear as part of your strategy to prevent fall-related injuries. Slip, stumble, and fall when wearing high heels, floppy slippers, or shoes with slick soles. Also, walking in your stockings feet can be dangerous. Wear suitably fitting, sturdy, flat shoes with nonskid soles instead. Sensible footwear may also help to alleviate joint pain.
Remove any potential hazards in your home.
Examine your surroundings for potential fall hazards. To make your home more secure:
Clear walkways of boxes, newspapers, electrical cords, and phone cords.
Remove high-traffic areas’ coffee tables, magazine racks, and plant stands.
Keep loose rugs with double-faced tape, tacks, or slip-resistant backing — or take them out entirely.
Repair any loose wooden floorboards and carpeting as soon as possible.
Clothes, dishes, food, and other necessities must be easily accessible, and clean up any spilled liquids, grease, or food right away.
Use a nonslip mat in the bathtub or shower and a bath seat to allow you to sit while showering.
Illuminate your living space.
Keep your home well-lit to avoid tripping over objects that are difficult to see. Also:
- Install night lights in your bedroom, bathroom, and corridors.
- Place a lamp near your bed if you need to get out in the middle of the night.
- Clear paths to light switches not near room entrances, then consider replacing standard switches with glow-in-the-dark or illuminated ones.
- Before going up or down the stairs, turn on the lights.
- In a power outage, keep flashlights in easily accessible locations.
Make use of assistive devices.
Your doctor may advise using a cane or walker to keep you stable, along with other assistive devices that can also be beneficial. As an example:
- Stairway handrails on both sides
- Treads for bare-wood steps that are nonslip
- A toilet seat that is elevated or has armrests
- Shower or bathtub grab bars
- There is a sturdy plastic seat and a separate shower head for those who prefer to sit while they wash.
If necessary, request a referral to an occupational therapist from your primary care physician who can significantly help with some fall-prevention techniques. Therefore, some solutions are simple to implement and reasonably priced. In addition, you could also check out a website that is mostly about how to deal with seniors. Sometimes you may necessitate professional assistance or a more considerable investment. Although the cost concerns you, remember that being aware of fall prevention is best for your independence.
Activities beneficial to older adults
Take a Walk.
Walking is the best way to start exercising. Aside from comfortable walking shoes, they can be done almost anywhere and don’t need special tools.
Senior sports or fitness classes.
Exercising with others can keep you motivated while providing a way of fun, stress relief, and a place to meet friends.
Swimming and aerobics.
Exercising in water reduces stress and strain on the body’s joints.
Yoga combines a series of poses with breathing. Moving through the poses helps improve strength, flexibility, and balance and can be adapted to any level.
Maintaining your health may reduce your risk of falling. Although, falls and accidents are rarely random. Seeking assistance from dependable, professional home care services provides the peace of mind that your beloved elderly is cared for in the comfort of your home.
Fall Prevention Tips
Plan a suitable workout because exercise strengthens muscles. Exercise keeps joints, tendons, and ligaments flexible, like walking or climbing stairs may slow osteoporosis-related bone loss.
Practice balance and strength.
For instance, Yoga, Pilates, and Tai chi improve balance and strength. As well as weightlifting and resistance bands can also build muscle.
Home fall proofing
These home safety tips will help you avoid falls.
Vision and Sounds
Minor ideas and hearing changes increase the risk of falling. Get used to wearing glasses or contacts. Always follow your eye doctor’s advice, put your hearing aid on, and use it.
Know your medications’ side effects.
Inform your doctor or pharmacist if a drug causes sleepiness or dizziness.
When people get tired, accidents happen.
Don’t drink alcohol
Falling due to alcohol intoxication can cause hip or arm fractures and other injuries.
Rapidly rising lowers blood pressure. That’s unsteady, so check your blood pressure lying and standing.
Use an assistive device to walk steadily.
Correctly using canes and walkers prevent fall. If your doctor prescribes a cane or walker, ensure it fits and should glide. Ask your doctor to verify the size and safety of walking support equipment borrowed from a friend. Physical or occupational therapists can help you choose and use devices safely.
Walk carefully on wet or icy surfaces
Slippery! Remove any ice melt or sand in the doorways or walkways.
Use a shoulder bag, fanny pack, or backpack to hold railings.
Nonskid, rubber-soled, low-heeled shoes provide full foot support. Also, avoids stairs and floors in socks or smooth-soled shoes.
Stay indoors in bad weather.
Many community services deliver prescriptions and groceries 24/7 and take phone orders.
Importantly, inform your doctor even if you fall without pain because falling can alert your doctor to new medical issues, such as medication side effects or vision issues that need treatment. Consequently, your doctor may advise physical therapy, a walking aid, or other fall prevention measures.
It is best to be safe than sorry because even a slight fall can change a person’s life. Ensure your elderly loved one can move around freely and safely in a fall-free environment. In this article, you can learn and adhere to the advice and strategies for preventing fall-related injuries in older adults.