With the first day of Fall (and the aptly designated Falls Prevention Day) occurring this past Friday we decided to take this week to go over some tips to help prevent falls!
The Necessity of Preventing Falls
According to the CDC, one out of every five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones, fractured hip, or a head injury. And for seniors, over 800,000 patients a year are hospitalized due to a fall injury.
As we age, physical changes and health conditions can make falls more likely, but does not need to incite fear. Instead, educate yourself with tips on how to prevent falls. Or as I like to put it: B.R.A.C.E yourself!
Fall Prevention Tips
Be active. With doctor approval, participate in activities such as walking, water aerobics, tai chi, etc. Participating in physical activity can improve balance and coordination.
Review Medications. Talk with your doctor about your health conditions, if you’ve fallen before, and what type of medications you are taking. Certain medicine side effects can make you tired, cause dizziness, etc. Your doctor can help identify some prevention strategies and see if there are any alternatives to the medicines you are taking.
Add grab bars and handrails. Installing these safety tools in your home can help with managing stairs, using the bathroom, and getting in and out of the bathtub without injuring yourself. When using these aids, taking your time is key to safety!
Check your vision and hearing at least once a year. Your ability to hear and see affects your balance. Having these checks done annually can help your doctors catch any vision or hearing loss, and implement the correct remedy.
Evaluate your home for tripping hazards. Boxes, non-slip rugs, phone cords, and other items can cause falls if they are in pathways, loosely strewn, or not securely fixed in place. Removing objects and clutter and moving items out of high traffic areas can reduce falls.
Preventing Falls = Preventing Injuries
Preventing falls means preventing injury. By using and following fall prevention techniques you are taking control of your health. Remember that these are not the only fall prevention tips, and this is not a singular journey! Talk to your doctor, and involve your family and friends. Working together can help everyone stay safe!