Falls are the number one cause of injuries in seniors every year. It’s not always possible to avoid falls, but many falls are easily preventable if you make some changes in your life and focus on preventing falling. Here are some ways that seniors can help protect themselves against falls at home or out and about.
1. Talk to Your Doctor
Your doctor knows you just about as well as you know yourself. They will be able to tell you many of the steps you can take in order to prevent falls. Your doctor will look at any medical conditions that you have and any medications you are on, and they will let you know the proper way to go about preventing falls, specifically in your home.
Exercising helps us to work on our muscle strength and our balance. If you develop a strong core (abdominals), it will be harder for you to fall even if you stumble on something. There are many different ways that seniors can train their core muscles to be strong. Online networks like Eldergym have some great programs that you can participate in today. Always consult your doctor before trying anything new.
3. Get an Eye Exam
It may not seem like much, but making sure your eyesight is in top shape is a very big key in preventing falls. If you can’t see objects on the floor in front of you, you can’t avoid them either. Have you been falling and tripping a lot and you don’t know why? Sometimes the simplest fix is the answer. Perhaps your eyesight has gotten worse, and all you need is a checkup at the eye doctor. Seniors should see the eye doctor yearly, at a minimum.
4. Keep Your Home Clean
Clean up clutter and keep your home as clutter-free as possible, and you won’t have to worry about tripping on any discarded newspapers, magazines, or other mail. Look closely at your floors. Clean up any loose pieces of carpet or pieces of floorboard that stick up. Check rugs to make sure that they don’t slip around. Make repairs to your home now so that you can feel safe from falls later.
5. Keep Your Home Safe
In places where you feel like you need them, install handrails and grab bars. Beside the stairs, in hallways, beside the toilet, and in the shower or bathtub are all common places that you might find or need a grab bar. Make sure you have non-slip mats in your bathroom or shower if you need them. If you can see where you are going, you will be less likely to trip on any items that may be on the floor, so make sure your home is well-lit. Install bright lightbulbs in the darker rooms in your house. Pay close attention to the lighting in your stairways and hallways, too. Add nightlights to bedrooms, bathrooms, and hallways to help you navigate easily at night.