5 Safety Tips to Help Prevent Falls in Older Adults
- Posted on: Jan 15 2016
As we age, physical changes, health conditions, and sometimes even medications make falls more likely. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every three adults age 65 or older falls each year, and 2 million are treated in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries. To prevent falls in older adults, consider these simple tips:
- Wear the Right Shoes
Slipping and falling is often caused by loose-fitting slippers, high heels and shoes with slick soles. Walking in stocking feet is also dangerous. Choose properly fitting shoes with nonskid soles to help prevent falls from happening.
This may sound counterintuitive since certain physical activities may make falls more likely, but gentle exercise like walking or water aerobics can actually help reduce the risk of falls by improving flexibility, coordination, balance and strength.
- Make Your Home Fall-Proof
There are a number of ways to eliminate safety hazards in the home:
– Install handrails and increase lighting on all staircases
– Remove throw rugs that are not secure to the floor, or tape them down to prevent them from slipping
– Use non-slip mats in the shower or tub, as well as on bathroom floors
– Clear walkways of any items that you could trip over
– Keep items you use regularly within easy reach
- Get Help From Assistive Devices
Many items are available or can be installed to keep you steady. A walker or a cane is a good way to maintain balance. Other ways to help prevent falls include adding a nonslip tread to wood or vinyl steps, installing armrests and a raised seat to your toilet, and adding grab bars to the shower or tub.
- Consider the Effects of Medications
Certain medications or combinations of medications can cause dizziness or drowsiness, which can lead to an increased risk of falls. Talk to your doctor about the side effects of the medicines you are taking.
If you are interested learning more about ways to avoid falls that can lead to serious injury, contact Dr. Desio today. Our offices are located in Worcester, Massachusetts, and we proudly serve all surrounding areas. Schedule your appointment today at 508.363.6363. We hope to hear from you soon.