Falls can seriously injure people of all ages, but they’re incredibly harmful to seniors. According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 30% of seniors in the state of Alabama have suffered from a serious fall. This number is higher than 70% of the country. Furthermore, one out of every five falls results in serious injuries. These injuries may include broken bones or head injuries, which hospitalize thousands of people each year. Seniors should focus on preventing falls in any way possible so that they avoid severe injuries and the need for medical care.
The good news is that there are five tips that make a huge difference in preventing falls. Follow these senior fall prevention tips to have a better chance of staying safe at home.
1. Move More
One of the things seniors can do to stay more flexible and less likely to fall is to become more active. Focus on flexibility, balance, and strength training. Seniors who do this are more likely to have flexible tendons, ligaments, and joints, which means they’re more likely to catch themselves and recover more quickly if they do fall.
When people move more often, they stay in better physical shape, which helps them avoid the breakdown of their musculature and bones. Aim to exercise for 30 minutes every day whenever possible.
2. Keep Track of Medications
The next thing seniors should do is monitor their medications. Some medications increase the risk of drowsiness and dizziness, which can lead to falls. For those taking more than one medicine, those risks may increase. Talk to a pharmacist or doctor if to determine what medications could increase the risk of a fall. Continue these discussions if the doctor increases the dosage or if side effects have caused someone to fall at home. A medical provider may have advice or options to help seniors prevent falls in the future.
3. Focus on Getting Enough Sleep
Sleeping is a game-changer when it comes to falls. By getting enough rest, seniors are less likely to feel tired or distracted, so they avoid confusion, drowsiness, and the decrease in reaction time seen from a lack of sleep. If they feel tired, they should get more rest, which will reduce their likelihood of falling.
4. Change the Footwear
For seniors, the shoes they wear may be different from those worn when they were younger, especially if they’re more prone to dizziness, weakness, confusion, and falls. A senior’s footwear should be comfortable and fit well.
There are many styles of footwear that seniors may try. Some of the best footwear for seniors includes:
- Tennis shoes
- Velcro shoes (to prevent loose laces)
- Low-heeled court shoes for women who still work
- Shoes with textured grips
Having the right footwear does make a difference. For example, with textured heels, it’s easier to maintain balance on slick surfaces, like wet stairs or walkways.
5. Cleanse the Home of Hazards
Hazards are everywhere, but by removing them, seniors may be able to prevent falls. Some of the common hazards at home include:
- Rugs that slip or slide
- Pet’s toys
- Stairs without railings
To eliminate these hazards, seniors may consider hiring in-home cleaners or install a handrail, for example. Simple items like a dog’s toy ball could cause a fall, so making sure that they don’t leave small objects like that lying around will help prevent accidents. Minimizing clutter is the goal so that floors are clean and clear at all times.
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