It’s easy to think that you’ll never experience a fall, but the sad reality is that one in three seniors will fall this year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also estimates that 2.5 million older adults are treated in emergency departments for falls every year, leading to some steep medical costs – not to mention the physical and emotional damage experienced.
Those statistics may be scary, but here’s some good news: most falls are preventable! Below are 7 simple ways you can prevent a fall:
Talk with your doctor. This is the first thing you should do. Your doctor will be able to pinpoint your risk of falling based on a variety of factors. This is also the time to mention if you have had any other previous falls – 2/3 of those who fall will do so again in the next six months.
Exercise. After determining your fall risk with your doctor, exercising is the next best thing you can do. Look for an exercise program that builds up your balance, strength and flexibility. (Hint: Tai Chi is a great!) When exercising, why not bring a friend along? This is a great way to socialize and ensure your safety!
Review your medications. This may not be the most common recommendation, but there are certain medications out there that cause dizziness or drowsiness – both of which greatly increase your risk of falling. This is another reason to talk with your doctor, as they will be able to review your medications to determine if there are safer alternatives available.
Get your hearing and vision checked. Impaired vision greatly increases your risk of falling, but luckily, an annual eye exam is one of the simplest things you can do to prevent falls. Always be sure to update your prescription glasses or contact lenses. Getting your hearing checked once a year will also help keep you safe on your feet.
Fall-proof your home. This may seem complicated, but fall-proofing your home is actually quite simple! Remove any tripping hazards (electrical cords, area rugs, etc.), improve the lighting in all areas of your home, make sure stairs are sturdy and free of any clutter, and install non-slip mats and grab bars in key rooms (kitchen, bathrooms and bedroom).
Talk to your family members. Although millions of older adults fall every year, less than half tell their doctor or family. This is unfortunate as your family members can most help you implement all the above recommendations. After all, they care about your safety and well-being above everything else.
Be proactive. Even after following these steps to prevent a fall, an accident may still happen. This makes it essential that you prepare for any emergency that can occur. With a medical alert device from our advertising partner Medical Guardian, you’ll have access to immediate help should you fall or experience an emergency. Even more importantly, you can enjoy the peace of mind knowing that help is just the push of a button away, allowing you to continue living an active and independent lifestyle. Above all, remember that being proactive in preventing a fall is much easier than recovering from one.
Following these fall prevention tips does not mean that you’ll lose your independence in any way – it simply encourages you to be on the lookout for anything in your daily life that may be a safety hazard. In the end, these preventative measures will help you live a longer and safer life.