You might think it’s silly that we’re discussing falls and how to prevent them. I mean, is it really a big deal? Maybe you’ve never experienced falling off your bed before or, even if you did, nothing serious happened. But then again, that’s just you we’re talking about. Unless you are downright really clumsy and fragile, then this isn’t much of a problem, right? Wrong.
Each year, it is known that one in every three adults ages 65 and older experience falls and fall related injuries. In addition, two million people within that age bracket are treated in emergency departments for injuries they sustained from falls. The risk of falling increases with each decade of life. The older you get, the more likely you are to fall. The consequences? Hip fractures and traumatic brain injuries are very common. Thankfully, many falls can be prevented and everyone in the family can take actions to protect the older adults they care about.
Here now are tips and simple measures on preventing falls:
- Exercise daily or at least once a week to improve lower extremity muscle strength and balance. We recommend Yoga or Tai Chi.
- Know the adverse drug reactions of medications. Side effects you should watch out for include dizziness, drowsiness, muscle weakness, and nausea.
- Tripping hazards, clutter, and poor lighting at home should all be corrected.
- Advise the elderly at home not to wear high heels, floppy slippers, and shoes with slick soles. These kinds of footwear may cause slipping, stumbling, and falling.
- Use assistive devices such as a cane or a walker.
Fall prevention may not seem like an important topic at first, but it is. As mentioned earlier physical changes and health conditions make falls more likely to happen as you get older. It’s not much of a concern for you now but it is to your parents or grandparents. We all want to protect our older family members and help them stay safe, secure, and independent. Knowing how to reduce the risk of falling, a leading cause of injury, is a big jump start in achieving this goal.