The CDC states that in the United States, every second someone over the age of 65 suffers from a fall. This means that about 36 million older adults fall every year and may suffer from a mild to severe injury. It is often thought this is typical as we get older, but on the contrary, it is not a normal part of aging. Which is why The Hickman understands the importance of maintaining a healthy self and environment as best as we can. Luckily, there are ways to prevent falls and continue being safe.
What is Falling a Symptom of?
Many of us might think “I just need to have better balance”. But falls in older adults can happen for a variety of reasons. Of course, as we get older our hearing and eyesight may diminish, making us more susceptible to falls.
Other factors such as physical conditions, health status or an illness all can contribute to falls in those 65 and older. Including area rugs, clutter, side effects from certain medications – such as diabetes, can make us uneven on our feet.
Even those who recently changed medication or are taking more than 4 different medications are statistically more likely to experience a fall. Yet, there are great ways to prepare ourselves and prevent accidents from occurring.
How Can We Prevent Elderly Falls at Home?
Preparing ourselves to prevent a fall from occurring is the best way to avoid it from happening in the first place. Taking care of our health and the environment around us is how we can set ourselves up for success. The different ways to avoid a fall are:
Stay Physically Active
Keep moving! As we age to exercise our muscles and keep them strong to support our body. This can be as simple as walking every day around the neighborhood.
Be Aware of Medication Side Effects
A fall could occur if you change or add medications. Always consult your doctor and communicate your concerns with them so you are aware of the side effects of your medication.
Don’t Rush to Stand up
Taking our time to stand up allows our body to acclimate and our blood pressure to adjust. Whether it is getting out of bed, a chair, or a couch, we might need a minute to get back on our feet.
Be Extra Cautious if Walking on Wet or Icy Floors or Roads
Uneven walkways or sidewalks is something to keep in mind especially after a rainy day, during the winter months or after someone has cleaned. Wet and icy floors can be dangerous if not taken cautiously.
Keep Clutter Out of Pathways at Home
Whether it is a rug or extension cord in the way be sure they are either removed or tapped down on every edge and corner to prevent tripping.
Check in With The Doctor
Whether you have had a fall recently and got hurt, or were injury-free, it is essential to inform your doctor. Certain falls can mean medical issues have occurred. This can include diminishing eyesight or increased blood pressure, being aware of our health can prevent another fall from happening.
Falls can be scary and concerning and more and more older adults suffer from falls. But changing our environment and being cautious of our health can ensure we prevent a fall from happening!