March 03, 2023
Falls are a leading cause of injury for people of all ages, but can be especially problematic for those over 65. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to help prevent falls in your home or when you are out and about. Let’s take a look at the best ways to prevent falls and how to stay safe and healthy.
Falling can be something that can of course happen to anyone, but it can have serious consequences, especially as you grow older. Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries among older adults, with approximately 9,500 deaths each year in older Americans. Each year there are an estimated 684,000 deaths worldwide in individuals due to falls, with most of these occurring in adults older than 60.
Whether you trip over your own feet, slip on a wet surface or tumble down the stairs, falls are a serious matter. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to help prevent falls in your everyday life. One of the most important things in terms of prevention is to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to prevent falls from occurring, such as wearing sensible shoes, being mindful of slippery surfaces and using handrails on stairs or other slick surfaces.
Make sure to secure any loose rugs or carpets, and to remove any obstacles that might be in the path of your walking, especially in low light. Also be sure that furniture is well-positioned, and that there are no items that could be easily tripped over. Shoes that give you a good grip, such as shoes with rubber soles, provide better traction, which can help prevent falls. Also, make sure to always wear shoes that fit properly and are in good condition. Lighting is also important, especially when moving around your home at night.
Another important preventative measure is to pay close attention to your physical health. Make sure to get plenty of sleep and to eat a healthy diet to help keep your body in good condition. Getting regular exercise will help to improve both your strength as well as your balancewhich will help to reduce your chances of falling. A cane or walker can help to provide support as well as stability. If you need to use a cane or walker, make sure you have been instructed properly on how to use these. Remember to keep your cane or walker close by, as neither implement is any good if you don’t use it. You should also speak with your healthcare provider to ask about any medications you may be on that might increase your risk of falling.
Another risk is having a dog or cat in the home. While these animals provide valuable companionship, many falls in older adults can be attributed to having animals underfoot, chasing a pet who may have gotten out a door, falling while walking a pet, or even tripping over pet toys or feeding bowls. If you have a dog or cat in your home, extra awareness is called for to prevent falls.
Falls are a serious health hazard that can result in serious injury and even death. The majority of these falls can be prevented with a few simple steps. By taking time to implement these suggestions you can help to greatly reduce the chances of falls in your everyday life. Taking precautions such as removing hazards from the home, improving lighting, and exercising regularly can help reduce your risk. By following these best practices, older adults can reduce their risk of falls and enjoy peace of mind.
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