4 Ways Older Adults Can Reduce the Risk of Falls

Published In Health & Safety

June 4th, 2016

A fall can be very devastating to anyone and at any age, but when you hit your senior years it can be life threatening. If you survive a fall, it’s very hard to overcome the fear of falling again. That fear can take over almost every aspect of your life. Many seniors fear leaving their homes. Others become very sedentary and just sit all day. Depression, anxiety and even dehydration may follow. Some seniors fear getting up to the point they cut back on fluids and fear using the bathroom. It can also inhibit you from doing the best thing to ensure that you won’t fall again and that is exercise!

Strengthen Your Core

Exercise will help to strengthen your muscles and your bones. Both muscles and bones need strength to keep you from falling and even prevent major injuries should you fall. According to the Center for Disease Control, exercise can also improve your balance to keep you from falling in the first place.

Exercises such as Tai Chi are an excellent way to strengthen your core muscles and improve your balance. Many of the exercises in Tai Chi can be done while holding on to a chair so they’re perfect for someone recovering from a fall.

Find Out if You’re at Risk for a Fall

Your doctor can review your health conditions and find out if you are at risk for a fall. Some medications can also make you dizzy, especially when you first start taking them. Older people often don’t have enough Vitamin D in their system to keep their bones strong. Ask your doctor to check your levels.

Poor eye sight can also contribute to a fall. Have your eyes checked at least once a year to make sure you are seeing as well as possible.

Reduce the Risk of Falls in Your Home

Just a few precautions can make your home safer and reduce your fall risk. Throw out those throw rugs. They are notorious for causing falls. Add handrails to your bath or shower and remember that being able to see well means you need adequate light in your home. When you have bulbs replaced, choose brighter ones.

My own mother fell down from near the top of her staircase a few years back. Since my mother is so active and works tirelessly in her yard, that fall didn’t even leave a bruise on her. One thing I’ve managed to convince her of is to not wear socks on her slippery wood staircase!

Think About Your Actions Before You Take a Fall

All of us have to curb our actions and take more precautions as we get older. Don’t climb on ladders unless there’s someone there to make sure you don’t fall. Take your time going up and down stairs and be sure to hang on to the handrails. Wear shoes that have non-skid soles, especially when you walk outside where water and rain may make the ground slippery.

If someone you know has taken a fall, keep in close contact with them to make sure the fear of falling isn’t keeping them from living a full and happy life.

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