One of the scariest parts of aging is the danger of falling and possibly breaking or dislocating a limb. As the body matures, having an injured body part can take longer to fully heal. Falls are one of the most common causes of head traumas and deaths occurring in persons aged 65 and older. Taking the necessary precautionary steps to prevent falls can not only save your life, it could also save someone else’s.
There are many factors as to why falls occur: weakness, vision/hearing impairment, loss of balance, and intake of medication. It is imperative that you consult your doctor if you do not feel well or you are concerned about the side effects of your medications. Always ensure you are taking proper medication and discuss the effects associated with each of them.
You may be asking: What are the steps you should take once you’ve fallen? What lifestyle changes should you make? How can you prevent falls from happening? Here is a list of suggestions for safety and health recommendations for fall prevention.
- Make an appointment with your optometrist to check your vision.
- Possibly change your eyeglass prescription or get the proper bi or trifocals.
- Talk to your medical professional if you frequently feel unstable.
- Things you can do to fix your balance include Learning Tai Chi or doing simple balancing exercises.
- Stay hydrated, especially in the hot temperatures.
- Poor diet habits can also cause your body to weaken so incorporate fruits, vegetables, and meats into your daily diet.
- Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking.
Home Safety Check
- Secure all loose rugs, carpets and any other objects.
- Rearrange furniture for clear pathways.
- Use night lights in bedrooms, hallways, and bathrooms for optimal vision.
- Always turn on the lights in a room before entering.
- Install grab handles, bath benches, or a home stairlift to improve the safety of your home.
- Install lower shelves and store the most used objects and tools in those shelves and drawers for easy access.
- Clear all hallways of clutter to make for optimal walking space and prevent tripping over things, especially phone or appliance cords. These items should be placed in a way that does not interfere with paths.
- Remove rugs.
- Use nonskid floor wax.
- Do not attempt to stand on a chair or table to reach something.
- Clean messes quickly.
- Remove any clutter or unnecessary objects.
- Install motion detector lights.
- Install stair lifts/escalators for easier movement throughout your home.
- Install grab handles to easily sit and get up from toilets.
- Install Shower/Bath benches if standing for long periods is troublesome.
- Use rubber mats.
- Make sure the toilet seat is securely placed on the toilet and nothing is loose.
- Use removable shower heads to make cleaning easier and more accessible.
- Consider buying shoes that are comfortable and have a non-slip sole.
- Wear small heels if you aren’t comfortable in flat shoes.
- If you have foot pain, tell your doctor so they can examine them.
- Use a shoehorn if you struggle to put on your shoes.
- Always check to make sure your shoelaces are tied or choose slip-on shoes.
See Your Doctor
- Inform your doctor of any odd feelings, weakness, or inability to move effortlessly.
- Complete a physical exam to check every aspect of your body.
- If you suffer from a medical condition this could have a profound effect on your mobility.
Check All Your Medications
- Specific medications may have side effects such as dizziness, lightheadedness, and anxiety.
- Medications with these side effects include antidepressants and antianxiety medications, blood pressure medications, and any kinds of painkillers or sedatives.
- Ask any of our pharmacists on-site about the effects of your medications and about which can be taken together and which cannot.
- Always take your medication on schedule and if you do happen to miss a dose, read the instructions that accompany them or consult your doctor immediately.
- Bring your old medications into any of our locations for SAFE DISPOSAL
- Get your walkers and canes assessed to make sure they are suitable for you.
- Make note of how often you fall, where you have fallen, and what the causes may have been.
- Keep moving. Walking daily and exercising will help keep your bones and muscles strong. Activities such as gardening and bicycling are also proven to improve your health.
- Getting groceries or fueling your car can be a difficult task and there are many risks. Be sure to ask for assistance from a close friend or family member.
- Consistently keep in contact with family and friends so they can be reassured of your well-being.
- Always carry a cell phone with you. Keep your cell phone and flashlight fully charged at your bedside table.
- Purchase a medical alert device to call someone in the case of an emergency.
What Do I Do if I Fall?
- Contact someone using the cell phone you have on hand, call 911, or if you have a medical alert device click the button and explain your situation to the professional.
- Slide, or try and crawl to the nearest chair and call for help.
- Above all, do not panic. Focus on breathing normally until assistance arrives.
There are many measures that you can take to prevent falls. Most are concerned with your health and environment. Create a comfortable living environment for yourself or for someone you love. Having a safe space alleviates dangers and the anxiety of constantly worrying about your loved one’s well-being. Making these simple changes can decrease the chances of falls, slips, and other preventable accidents from occurring.
For more information on elderly safety, please be sure to visit our website.