Falls are one of the biggest concerns for the senior community, and for good reason: falls are the leading cause of injury for the elderly. As we age, our risk of falling increases. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to do what you can to prevent falls before they happen.
Talk to Your Doctor
It’s a good idea to discuss your concern about falls with your doctor. This way, you can discuss what contributes to your risk of falling. For example, discuss what specific medications you are on that may have side effects such as dizziness that can increase your falling risk. Your doctor might consider switching your medication or weaning you off of it entirely if falls are of particular concern. If you have ever fallen before, this is also a good opportunity to talk about that experience and use it to learn specific strategies to avoid falling. Finally, you can talk to your doctor about any preexisting conditions you have that might contribute to falls. For example, if you have any symptoms such as joint pain, dizziness, or numbness in your legs or feet, you will want to talk to your doctor about strategies for preventing falls.
Physical activity can be an amazing tool for helping you prevent falls. Talk to your doctor about adding activities such as walking, tai chi, or water aerobics into your routine. If you are concerned about doing physical activity because of your fear of falls, talk to your doctor and ask for a referral to a physical therapist. They may help you improve your balance, flexibility, and gait to reduce the chance of injury.
Wear the Right Shoes
Improper shoes can increase the likelihood of tripping and falling. You don’t want to wear any flip flops, high heels, or shoes with slippery soles. Invest in sturdy, properly fitted shoes with non-skid soles, and don’t walk around in socks without shoes.
Remove Tripping Hazards
If you have a lot of clutter around your home, you likely have many tripping hazards that could cause falls. Make clear walking paths for yourself by removing any boxes, newspapers, or other clutter from walkways and moving furniture to make more room. Secure rugs with double-sided tape, repair any broken floorboards promptly, and consider installing a bath seat in your shower.
Install Assistive Devices
There are a variety of assistive devices you can install in your home that will help you in the event of a fall. Consider installing handrails on your staircases, non-slip treads on your wooden steps, a raised toilet seat, grab bars in the shower, and a plastic seat for the shower or tub.
Light Up Your Life
One of the common causes of falls is tripping over things that were obscured in the dark. If your home is not well-lit, now is the time to install precautions. Invest in night lights for your bedroom, bathroom, and hallways. Make sure you have a lamp on your bedside table for when you need to do something in the middle of the night. Think about installing glow-in-the-dark light switches. Store flashlights in easy-to-find places in the event of a power outage.
At Gulf Shore Private Health Care, we are experts in senior care, so we have extensive knowledge in ways you can prevent falls. If you’re in the market for home health care in Naples, we would love to help. Contact us today!