Fall-related injuries are one of the greatest threats to seniors as they can range from sprained wrists to fractured hips and head trauma that could result in hospitalization. However, there are a number of preventative steps you can take to protect from a falling incident.
- Start Motion Exercises
Diminished strength and balance that comes with age may be reversed through exercise. A well designed routine can protect seniors from weakened back and leg muscles that could result in falls. As with any form of exercise, consult your doctor before starting a routine if you don’t normally exercise.
- Check Your Home
- Floors: Discard loose floor mats and rugs (especially at the top/bottom of stairs), extension cords, and other hazardous obstacles. Any items that cannot be removed need to be securely anchored away from the walking path.
- Stairways: Make sure your stairways are well lit with light switches at the top and bottom and have solid hand rails.
- Spills: Clean up all spills quickly and make sure the floors are completely dry before moving on.
- Lighting: All areas of your home should be well-lit, especially the walkways. Consider installing night lights along hallways for easy walking at night.
- Walkways: All pathways and hallways should have enough room to walk and be de-cluttered of any furniture or objects that could cause falls.
- Bathrooms: Securely add rubber mats to the bottoms of the showers and bathtubs and install handicapped railed on the bathtub and toilet.
- Get a Check-Up
- Review Your Medications: If you are taking multiple prescriptions, ask your doctor if any of them are interacting. Drug interactions can sometimes cause dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision that could cause falls.
- Check Your Blood Pressure: If you have low blood pressure it can sometimes make you dizzy. Ask your doctor for treatment recommendations to prevent dizziness while standing or walking.
- See the Optometrist: Changes in vision could alter your ability to balance and see where you’re walking. Routinely get your eyes checked to make sure that your glasses, contacts, and vision are all maintained.
- Update Your Health Insurance
Check with your insurance agent to make sure that your policy provides adequate coverage for preparing for falls and recovering from an accident.