When seniors fall, they often face debilitating consequences. In fact, falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries in older adults, including hip fractures and head trauma. The CDC reports that one out of three people aged 65 or older will experience a fall annually, and 2.8 million seniors are treated in in the emergency room for injuries due to a fall. Additionally, after individuals have fallen one time, they are more likely to suffer a subsequent fall.
There are a variety of reason a senior may fall, including:
Decrease in muscle strength and slow reflexes
Issues with balance or mobility
Experiencing side effects from medication like weakness or dizziness
Wearing improper footwear
Poor vision or hearing
Preventing Falls in the Elderly: Tips to Stay Safe
The good news is that although it’s impossible to avoid accidents altogether, many falls in seniors are preventable. Here are a few fall prevention tips all seniors should keep in mind:
Live a healthy lifestyle. Exercise offers a variety of benefits to seniors, including keeping muscles and bones strong. Find a senior fitness program or an exercise you enjoy to help improve your strength, balance and flexibility. Additionally, make healthy food choices, focusing on options that include bone-strengthening calcium and vitamin D.
Get regular vision and hearing screenings. If you notice any changes in your vision or hearing, schedule an appointment for a screening immediately. You should also maintain annual appointments to get your vision and hearing checked, as being able to properly see and hear are key in preventing falls in seniors.
Know your personal risk for a fall. At your next physical, ask for a fall risk assessment. Your doctor will ask questions about your history of falling, monitor your gait, look into any medications you’re taking and ask if you regularly need any mobility aids to determine your likelihood of falling.
Wear the right shoes. The proper footwear can go a long way in senior fall prevention. Trade your floppy slippers or stockinged feet in for sturdy, thick-soled shoes with non-skid soles.
Create a safe home and emergency plan. Avoid accidents in the home by making some home safety adjustments, like removing low furniture, cords and wires, and clearing clutter from hallways and staircases. Also, consider scheduling daily check-in phone calls with a family member or nearby neighbor. This way, they know to be alarmed if you miss your call and can take the necessary action to ensure your safety.
Enjoy Joyful Senior Living at Franciscan Ministries
Find moments of joy in Franciscan Ministries’ senior living communities, where we’ve cared for generations of families for over a century. From vibrant independent living to compassionate assisted living and memory care, we offer a full spectrum of care for seniors in all stages of their lives. To schedule a personal tour, please contact us today.