Unfortunately, millions of adults aged 65 and older fall every year. These falls usually cause serious injuries such as fractures and trauma which may make it hard for them to move independently. Plus, the increasing number of fatal and non-fatal injuries due to frequent falls is becoming a major cause of early death in recent years.
Many falls can be prevented if you take the right precautions.
These precautions can help you stay independent at home or outside the home.
Include Exercise in Your Daily Routine
Sometimes, you are unable to keep your balance because your legs are not strong enough. This problem can be overcome by exercising regularly to increase the strength of your legs and improve your balance. Proper exercise can also keep your body and mind healthy, which may help you avoid certain falls.
Get Your Eyes Checked Regularly
Getting your eyes checked by your doctor regularly and keeping an updated pair of glasses can maximize your vision. It is recommended to use a comfortable pair of glasses especially when engaged in activities that require movement or walking.
Ask Your Doctor to Review Your Medicines
Medications can cause side effects that become the reason for falls. You can avoid those falls by asking your pharmacist or doctor to review your medicines.
Consider An Older Adult Friendly Home Design
Make your home safer by reducing elements that could lead to trips or falls. Install grab bars near shower or tub as well as next to toilet. Add railings on both sides of the stairway to allow ease of movement. Plus, make sure that your home is amply lit to allow clear visibility in every part of the home.
What To Do If You Fall
Whether you are at home or outside, a sudden fall may be shocking and disturbing. However, the best way to overcome it is by trying to stay as calm as possible. You can help yourself in the following manner:
- Do not panic. Remain on the floor for a few minutes until you get over the shock of falling.
- Check if you are hurt. Getting up too quickly or in the wrong way could make the injury worse.
- When you think it is safe to get up, roll over onto your side and crawl to a nearby sturdy chair.
- Put your hands on the chair, rise slowly, and turn your body to sit on the chair.
Once you are in a comfortable position, call a medical emergency service or someone who could come and help you.
Consider An Emergency Response Device
If you have a problem with balance or you are at high risk of falling, consider getting an emergency response device. Devices can be worn as a bracelet or pendant and can alert the emergency response service through a telephone line. Whenever you need help, you can get immediate assistance with a single push of a button.
Make Your Home Safer
- Get rid of things you could trip over.
- Add grab bars inside and outside your tub or shower and next to the toilet.
- Put railings on both sides of stairs.
- Make sure your home has lots of light by adding more or brighter light bulbs.
- Have a trained professional perform a comprehensive home safety assessment
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