FALLS ARE THE LEADING CAUSE OF FATALITY IN OLDER ADULTS…
…and there are several things you can do to help prevent a fall. Read below to start implementing ways to decrease your fall risk.
1. Get Strong
Strength training is not only important for staying lean and strong, but it also is important when preventing falls. A leading cause of falls is lower body weakness. Many individuals have difficulty rising from a chair because they just aren’t strong enough to do so. Improving your strength can make a lot of tasks easier and can also improve your balance.
2. Practice Balance
As we get older, we struggle more and more with balance. We tend to feel imbalanced with a variety of activities but don’t do anything about it. One of the easiest things you can do is just practice balancing! Take a yoga class or practice balance exercises at home. If you are really unsteady make sure someone is nearby to help or you have a sturdy piece of furniture to grab on to.
3. Physical Activity
Staying active is great for numerous aspects of your health including decreasing your risk for falls. Staying active with physical activity allows you to build strength, maintain flexibility, and take part in activities to help challenge your balance and your brain.
4. Remove Tripping Hazards
An easy way to decrease your risk of falls is to make a quick assessment of possible hazards in your home. Make sure items aren’t littered throughout your home and paths are cleared. Be aware of pets as they can be a major tripping hazard!
Make sure hazardous areas are well lit. Motion sensing lights are very useful near stairwells and nightlights can help illuminate high risk areas such as the bathroom.
6. Grab Bars
Grab bars can help reduce falls by making difficult tasks easier. Grab bars near the shower and toilet can help reduce falls in the bathroom. In addition, handrails are useful when ascending and descending stairs.
Non-slip mats can make the slipperiest surfaces safer. Bathtubs and showers can become extremely slippery when wet and the addition of a non-slip mat can reduce your risk for falls.
Proper fitting shoes include both well-fitting shoes with good tread as well as making sure shoelaces are tied. In addition, consider wearing non-slip socks with grips on the bottom when walking without shoes to help reduce falls when moving throughout the home, especially on tile and wood floors.
Loose fitting clothing has the potential to lead to trips and falls. Try wearing properly fitted and hemmed clothing that doesn’t bunch up at your feet.
10. Proper Nutrition
A healthy diet helps maintain the nervous and musculoskeletal system and can help improve overall functioning. In addition, proper nutrition and hydration can reduce the risk of falls due to dizziness and dehydration cause by improper diet.