The Importance of Preventing Falls in Seniors
It’s normal for your body to go through some changes as you get older. Once you pass age 40, muscle mass begins to decrease, your vision can worsen, and you may find yourself on more than one medication for various health conditions. All these factors can make you more susceptible to a fall, and according to the CDC, falls are the number one cause of injuries in those age 65 and older.
Falls and Seniors: The Impact on Health and Wellness
One fall can alter your entire lifestyle, threatening your independence and overall health. Falls often result in bone fractures of the hip, leg, ankle, pelvis, spine or arm. Plus, they can even cause brain injuries. The CDC reports that one in three seniors fall each year, with more than 2.8 million people heading to the emergency room for injuries due to a fall.
After you fall once, your chances of a subsequent fall double. This is because once a person falls, they often become fearful of falling again and neglect to take proper care of their health, leading to a decline in their mobility.
5 Fall Prevention Tips
While it’s impossible to prevent all accidents, learning some safety tips to prevent falls in seniors can help decrease the risk. Most falls occur in the home, with over a third of adults over the age of 65 experiencing a fall in their homes.
Here are five fall prevention tips to ensure you stay safe, healthy and independent:
- Create an emergency plan. It’s important to have a plan ready should an emergency situation arise, especially if you live alone. Schedule daily check in calls with a family member, friend or even a neighbor, so someone knows to jump into action if you miss a call. Or, invest in an alert device or carry a cordless phone or cell phone on your person at all times.
- Modify your home. Your home could be full of an array of fall hazards, like area rugs, loose wires or cords, doorway thresholds, etc. Make sure rugs are secured by non-slip mats or double-sided tape, and keep cords tucked away under furniture. Additionally, keep stairs and hallways clear of clutter, and make safety modifications like installing sturdy railings and grab bars in the tub or shower.
- Make your health top priority. Stay active, making sure to get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily to keep your muscles toned and your endurance high. Additionally, consume foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin D to keep your bones strong, and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. When you’re feeling ill, take it easy, as you might be weak from your condition or the medications you’re taking to treat it.
- See your doctor regularly. Pay attention to any changes in your vision or hearing and make an appointment with your doctor if you notice any differences. By getting your eyesight and hearing checked at least once per year, you can help reduce your risk of falling. After all, being able to see objects in your path that could cause you to lose your balance is a key factor in preventing a fall.
- Wear the right shoes. Avoid high-heeled or slippery shoes and floppy slippers, as well as walking around the house in stocking feet. Your shoes should have non-skid soles, fit well and provide good support at all times.
Fall Prevention is a Priority at Peabody Retirement Community
At Peabody Retirement Community in North Manchester, Indiana, we make preventing falls in seniors a top priority. Available in our Rehabilitation Center, our Biodex Balance System™ provides state-of-the-art balance screening by performing a comprehensive fall risk screening and developing patient-specific, targeted conditioning protocols. Our professional staff will create a personalized program to help decrease your risk of falling and improve your balance. To learn more about the Biodex Balance System or our Rehab to Home program, please contact us today.