Protect Yourself from Falls
Falls are the leading cause of injury among older people. 50% of falls requiring hospitalization happen at home. 85% of senior falls cause hospitalization, 95% of those falls result in a hip fracture.
IF YOU FALL
Try to land on your bottom to prevent a more serious injury like a broken hip.
Don’t rush to get up. Make sure your not injured before trying to get up or letting others help you up.
Don’t let fear of falling take hold and keep you from being active. Inactivity increases your risk of falling. (you have heard it before; if you fall of the horse, get back on!)
5 GOOD FALL PREVENTION TIPS
A list of proven interventions that reduce the physical and financial costs associated with a senior’s falls.
1.) Exercise! Exercise and Exercise! Absolutely the best defense and number one prevention of falls. Any level of exercise is better than none at all. Keeping active as a possible helps to maintain strength and balance, increases mobility by keeping muscles loose allows for flexibility. Tai Chi, walking, exercise with your walker, even from a chair, every bit is useful.
Try these exercises to improve your balance
while holding a counter or sink ensure you have a good grip
Stand on one leg at a time for a minute and then slowly increase the time. Try to balance with your eyes closed or without holding on.
Stand on your toes for a count of 10, and then rock back on your heels for a count of 10.
Make a big circle to the left with your hips, and then to the right. Do not move your shoulders or feet. Repeat five times.
2.) Get your feet checked, painful feet can cause balance issues impairing your mobility. When sitting, use a stool to raise your feet to decrease swelling. Be sure to wear good supportive shoes with non-slip treads inside and out.
3.) Clear environmental clutter; loose rugs/floor mats, cables, low lighting, room clutter all increase your risk of falling. Be especially vigilant during the holidays unknowing visitors can leave shoes, packages and items about creating a fall hazard.
4.) Review Medications it is important to review your medications annually, ask which one’s cause dizziness or drowsiness, or blurred vision.
Be aware that medications that relax you, help you sleep, or improve your mood can increase the risk of falling.
Keep a current list of all your medications in your wallet.
5.) Have your vision checked. Eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts or macular degeneration reduce vision increasing your risk of falls. As we age our eyes take more time to adjust to changes in light or glare. It can become harder to judge distances from objects and harder to find things, especially at night.
Be certain there is adequate light, use high watt bulbs keep your rooms bright.
Mark the edge of stairs with a contrasting colour of treads, paint or strips.
Wear sunglasses even in winter to protect your sight from glare that would impairing your vision and affecting your balance and orientation.
Use nightlights or motion sensors in bathrooms and hallways.