As you get older, changes in your body can make you more susceptible to a fall. Muscle mass decreases after you reach age 40, which affects your overall strength and mobility. How well you’re able to see can also increase your risk for a fall, and many adults find their vision getting worse the older they get. Additionally, if you’re on certain medications, you may experience side effects that make you dizzy or weak, another risk for falling.
This is why it’s so important to learn some common fall prevention tips for seniors, as knowing how to prevent a fall in the first place can be key to keeping you safe and healthy. And, since every year more than 2.5 million seniors are treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to falls, decreasing your risk can be key to your overall quality of life.
5 Fall Safety Tips to Keep Top of Mind
According to the CDC, falls are the number one cause of injuries in those age 65 and older. Plus, once you’ve fallen, your chances of falling again will double. However, the good news is that while avoiding an accident altogether might be impossible, there are things you can do to ensure you’re decreasing your own risk as much as you can.
Here are five fall prevention tips for seniors that can improve your safety:
- Wear proper shoes. One of the first steps in preventing falls is to invest in the right footwear. Your shoes should have thick, non-skid soles, provide good support and fit your feet perfectly. Keep in mind that although you might opt for comfortable slippers or stockinged feet at home, slippery, wood or tile floor can be extremely dangerous if you aren’t wearing the right shoes.
- Create a safe home environment. Look around your living space and take note of things like low furniture, throw rugs, loose cords or wires and clutter in high-traffic areas such as stairways and hallways. Remove these types of items immediately so all spaces are safe to navigate, day or night. If necessary, utilize nightlights to keep all areas well-light at all times, too.
- Make healthy lifestyle adjustments. Experts recommend getting at least 30 minutes of daily exercise to keep your muscles and bones strong. Find a physical activity you enjoy and incorporate it into your routine to improve muscle strength, flexibility, balance and coordination. Plus, your diet should include nutritious choices packed with plenty of calcium and vitamin D to further strengthen your bones.
- Visit your doctor regularly. Make sure you’re scheduling and keeping your regular doctor appointments, including annual vision exams and hearing screenings. The ability to see and hear clearly is key in preventing falls, so if you notice any recent changes, make an appointment with your eye doctor or hearing center right away.
- Learn your medication side effects. If you aren’t sure what types of side effects your current medications may have, bring a list of all prescription and over-the-counter medications you’re taking to your pharmacist. The pharmacist can inform of not only the side effects to be aware of, but also if any of your current medications could have negative interactions that put you at higher risk for a fall.
Whole-Person Wellness Opportunities Immanuel Lutheran Communities
Immanuel Lutheran Communities encourages a safe, healthy and meaningful lifestyle by focusing senior wellness activities on in all six dimensions. From daily fitness classes for strength training to line dancing classes, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to stay physically active, strong and decreasing your risk for a debilitating fall. Learn more about vibrant senior living in Kalispell at Immanuel Lutheran Communities by contacting us today.