As people age, fall related injuries increase with each decade of life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every three adults ages 65 and older falls each year.
Since many falls occur while someone is involved in everyday activities, here are just a few tips that can reduce the risks:
Exercise helps strengthens bones and preserves them from deterioration. At The Peninsula, our calendar of events offers a variety of exercises and we encourage our residents to participate.
Tai Chi, yoga, and chair exercising increases strength and improves balance. Seniors should try to engage in “weight bearing” exercise such as walking, climbing stairs and dancing.
Seniors may be taking medicines that cause dizziness or drowsiness. Have a doctor or pharmacist review all the medicines your loved one is taking to be aware of risky side effects and drug interactions.
Seniors should have their eyes checked each year to make sure their prescription is correct.
Many falls occur in the home. Potential fall hazards need to be removed or changed to reduce risks. For example:
– Clear clutter from places where someone walks to avoid tripping;
– Install night lights in bathrooms;
– Keep a flashlight next to the bed as an additional light source at night;
– Remove small throw rugs or ensure they are tapped down to prevent slipping;
– Avoid using step stools and keep items within reach in the kitchen;
– Double check the bathroom to make sure there is a non-slip mat in the bathtub or non-slip strips;
– Install safety rails in the bathroom;
– Improve home lighting to make sure rooms are brightly lit.
Wear shoes inside and outside and avoid going barefoot or wearing slippers.
Tie shoe laces.
Walking aids are important in helping many seniors maintain or improve their mobility. However, make sure you use these devices safely. A physical therapist may fit a walker or cane to you and instruct you in its safe use.
These are just a few tips for you or your loved one’s safety. The Peninsula offers many health seminars throughout the year. If you would like more information about an upcoming seminar, please call 954-399-5997.