Fall Prevention Tips For the Elderly
Seniors are at a higher risk of accidental falls than the rest of the population. In fact, falls are one of the highest causes of injury among seniors. Falls can lead to fracture, broken bones, and even damage to the head or brain.
Seniors may be reluctant to do certain activities simply because of the risk of falling.
But with a little proactivity, you can create an environment that’s fall-proof. Try some of these fall prevention tips.
1. Pick Up
Items laying around on the floor are the most obvious hazard when it comes to fall prevention. Keeping your home clean and tidy will drastically reduce the chance of falling.
This isn’t just limited to items, though. Wires and cords for your electronics pose tripping hazards. Coil them up as close to the wall as possible. You could also buy a product that keeps your cords organized and out of sight.
2. Install Hand Rails and Grab Bars
Handrails and grab bars can give seniors something to hold onto when moving around or performing certain activities. For example, a handrail could be used in a hallway, providing support as you walk down the hallway. A grab bar may be used for climbing into the bathtub or standing up out of a chair, preventing you from falling over midway through the motion.
3. Wear Grippy Footwear
The more grip you can make with the ground, the less chance you have of slipping. Wear shoes instead of socks or bare feet whenever possible. If you aren’t comfortable wearing shoes around your home, you can find specialized non-slip socks that contain grips on their soles.
4. Adequate Lighting
Inadequate lighting can make it hard to see, especially for seniors who may have declining eyesight. Install lights in poorly-lit areas such as hallways or stairways. Even in well-lit areas, consider getting brighter bulbs or more lights.
5. Exercise Regularly
Exercise provides a myriad of health benefits for seniors, including helping to prevent falls. Strengthening the core and legs can improve your balance and keep you stable while standing and walking. In addition, stretching can keep your muscles loose, helping you maintain good posture and stay on your feet.
6. Review Medications
Some medications can cause drowsiness or dizziness, increasing your chance of falling. Go over your medications with your doctor and bring up your falling concerns. If you have any of medications that could cause you to fall, see if you can reduce or replace those medications.
7. Get Enough Sleep
Again, drowsiness increases your chance of falling. Getting enough high-quality shuteye will keep your awareness and reflexes in tip-top shape.
8. Don’t Multitask
Doing other activities while you’re walking can cause you to take your mind off of walking. You could run into furniture, trip over something on the floor, or simply misstep if you’re walking up the stairs.
Wait until you reach your destination before you check your phone or resume watching TV.