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Fall Prevention Tips

posted on Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Although falling isn't typically on our radar  [Fall Prevention Tips] for public health concerns or serious medical issues, such as heart attacks or chronic illnesses, it is a silent attack on the elderly population. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults in the U.S., and the rate of fall-related deaths of people aged 65 and older continues to rise each year.

There are certain health and aging conditions that increase the risk factors, but the alarming fact is that falls are preventable and should not be considered an inevitable and natural part of aging. Health-related risk factors include:

  • Chronic health conditions such as arthritis and stroke 
  • Lack of regular exercise and activity 
  • Alcohol consumption 
  • Poor medication management 
  • Vision changes and loss of vision

Here are some falling prevention tips to help reduce your risk of falling:

Exercise Regularly 

Regular exercises that focus on lower body strength and balance and coordination are important in fall prevention. Exercises, such as walking, water exercises, and Tai Chi, improve flexibility, mobility, strength and balance, which can help reduce the likelihood of falls.

Medication Management 

Although intended to alleviate symptoms or cure illnesses, certain medications can actually cause side effects, such as blurred vision, dizziness or impaired judgment, that contribute to falls. No matter if it's prescribed or over-the-counter medications, have a doctor or pharmacist review medications to identify side effects that may increase risks of falling.

Take Care of Eye Health 

As individuals age, it is natural for vision changes and vision loss to occur and are common risk factors of falling among older adults. It is important to have regular vision exams to minimize vision loss from conditions, such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration, but regular eye exams also ensure an individual maintains optimal eye health.

Home Safety Assessments 

Most falls in older adults happen at home while doing everyday activities, and approximately half of the falls are caused by environmental factors that could be prevented. Whether it is slipping or tripping hazards or poor lighting, simple modifications to the home can reduce the number of falls and make it a safer place. Pay attention to placement of cords and wires, furniture and rugs, and make sure there are handrails and grab bars where necessary.

Fear of falling is normal, but don't let it determine where you go and how you live. If you or a loved one are concerned or have suffered physical injury or emotional stress caused by falling, then contact WesleyLife today.

At WesleyLife, we understand the importance of promoting independence and supporting the best quality of life possible. We provide services from in-home health care to facilities that ensure you can stay on your feet.

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