According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the number one results in injury among older adults. These falls can result in broken hips, skin tears, head and brain injuries, and death. The fear of falling alone can keep the older adult from enjoying the simple pleasures life provides — activities and social engagements.
The good news is that you can prevent many falls without having to break the bank to remodel. You can do it by making minor adjustments to your home, by learning the causes of falls, by being aware of your own body, and taking care of yourself when you feel slightly off. By incorporating these tips, you can prevent your fear of falling from limiting your life.
Falls tend to occur when we push ourselves beyond our capabilities. If you feel you are limited by your mobility, endurance, or strength, look into a physical therapy screening. A physical therapist can develop a personalized plan to increase your endurance, mobility, and strength.
Certain medications such as sedatives, sleeping aids, and antidepressants, may cause dizziness, lethargy, and dehydration. Be sure to check with your doctor on the side effects and interactions with the drugs you are taking. You know your body the best, so if you notice you are feeling these symptoms, notify your doctor for precautionary measures.
As we age, we tend to decrease our activity – leaving us with weaker muscles, less endurance, and decreased mobility. To combat these symptoms of aging, it’s important to exercise daily for 30 minutes with cardiovascular, resistance, and stretching exercises. Those who exercise decrease their risk of falling. It’s also good for your heart and overall well-being!
Adding grab bars near and in the shower can stabilize yourself as you enter and exit. It’s also helpful to add a non-slip mat in the shower and outside of the shower to prevent possible slippage.
Living on a single level to avoid stairs is best, but if this isn’t possible, install two rails for you to hold on to as you use the stairs. Ascend and descend each stair carefully and mindfully.
We become so accustomed to our living quarters that we move through our homes without thinking. You may not be aware of potential trip hazards. By keeping clutter to a minimum, you can ensure your walkways are clear to reduce your risk of tripping.
Watch out for:
• Extension cords that may be sticking out
• Pets that may be getting in your way as you move through your home
• Area rugs — try to minimize them or ensure they are in perfect condition!
See, painless! There is no need to fear falling when you intentionally make yourself aware of your surroundings and become mindful of what you are doing in the moment.
Any safety tips you’d like to add? Please comment below!