As we age, our need for different medications and therapies increases. Our bodies begin to work in different ways, perhaps joints aren’t as strong as they used to be, or climbing stairs is now harder than in our youth. It might be surprising that the combination of these factors, especially in older adults, often lead to falls, which can cause severe injuries. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “One in four Americans aged 65+ falls each year, making it the leading cause of fatal injury.” However, there are steps you can take to prevent you or your senior from falling.
Check Your Meds
If you or your loved one is suffering from dizziness or loss of balance, be sure to make an appointment with your doctor. Medications can cause these types of symptoms, especially when a senior is taking various kinds of medicine. Making a list of medications, their doses, and time of consumption will help your doctor know if you are at risk for falling.
Participating in moderate activities like walking, gentle yoga, or swimming is especially helpful when it comes to maintaining balance. Adults who are physically fit are less likely to experience falls because their bodies are stronger and more flexible.
Consider attending an exercise class at your local wellness center, or work with a physical therapist to learn customizable exercises that will keep you strong and staying upright!
Keep Your Home Safe
Many falls in older adults happen in their homes. Clutter around the house, like moving boxes or laundry baskets are more dangerous than we think they are! Make sure walk ways and highly frequented areas like the kitchen are cleared out. Keeping homes clean and organized is especially important when it comes to fall prevention.
There are extra preventative measures that are customized for at-home safety. Consider installing balance bars in places like the bathroom or along staircases. Securing loose carpets or coffee rugs to the ground will keep you from losing balance. Nonslip mats are a necessity in wet areas like the bathroom and kitchen. Many places specialize in converting homes to safer places for seniors and will often offer special senior rates that make the transition less expensive.
The safety of our patients and residents is a high priority at our Carespring facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Preventing falls can be life saving. What do you do to stay safe?