Serious harm can be caused by a fall. Take these easy steps to reduce your risk of falling, such as evaluating your medicines and making your house less hazardous.
The risk of falling increases with age due to age-related physical changes, health issues, and the drugs used to treat these illnesses. The elderly are more vulnerable to the harmful effects of falls, which can include bone fractures, hospitalization, and permanent impairment. But your life need not be controlled by your fear of falling. Consider these six simple suggestions as an alternative to help lessen the likelihood of a fall happening.
# TIP 1. APPOINTMENT WITH YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
The first step is to schedule a visit with your doctor. Your healthcare physician may wish to discuss the following with you in order to evaluate your fall risk and make recommendations for preventing future falls:
Make a list of your prescription and nonprescription drugs and supplements or bring them. Your doctor can look for side effects and interactions that may raise your risk of falling. In order to prevent falls, your doctor may wean you off sedatives, antihistamines, and certain antidepressants.
Any previous falls
Note when, where, and how you fell. Prepare to talk about times you nearly fell but were caught or grabbed something in time. These details can help your doctor find fall-prevention techniques.
Your health conditions
Eye and ear issues can cause falls. Be ready to describe your health and how comfortable you are when walking. Do you feel dizzy, joint discomfort, shortness of breath, or numbness in your feet and legs? Your doctor may check your muscular strength, balance, and gait.
# TIP 2. KEEP HOME SAFE FOR YOUR MOVEMENT
You should inspect your house for places that might cause you to slip and fall.
Clear the pathways of any debris, including boxes, newspapers, power wires, and phone cords.
Clear moving areas of low Furniture such as coffee tables, magazine racks, and plant stands.
Carpets that are too flimsy should be fastened down using double-sided tape, tacks, or slip-resistant backing, or should be removed entirely.
Tighten any flooring or carpet that is loose.
Keep all your clothes, dishes, food, and other essentials in one convenient location.
If there is a spill of liquid, grease, or food, wipe it up right away.
To prevent falls in the shower or bathtub, use nonslip mats. Make use of a shower bench if you'd want to avoid getting wet while standing.
# TIP 3. DO STRENGTH AND BALANCE EXERCISES
Exercise helps avoid falls. With your doctor's OK, try walking, water exercises, or tai chi, a moderate dance-like exercise. Strength, balance, coordination, and flexibility are improved by these exercises.
Tell your doctor if you avoid exercise because you fear falling. Your doctor may prescribe supervised exercise or a physical therapist. Physical therapists can construct individualised exercise programs to improve balance, flexibility, and strength.
# TIP 4. CHOOSE PROPER FOOTWEAR
Falling is most likely to occur in shoes with poor traction, such as high heels, flip-flops, and other similar footwear. Wearing stocking feet is another option. Choose a pair of sturdy, flat shoes that fits well and has a non-slip sole. The right footwear might help alleviate your joint discomfort.
# TIP 5. LIGHT UP YOUR LIVING SPACE
Light up your home well so that you don't injure yourself by stumbling over unseen stuff.
# TIP 6. USE ASSISTIVE DEVICES
A raised toilet seat or one with armrests
Grab bars for the shower or tub
A sturdy plastic seat for the shower or tub — plus a hand-held shower nozzle for bathing while sitting down
Handrails for both sides of stairways
Use a cane or walker if you need more stability.
Ask your doctor for an occupational therapist referral if needed. An OT can help you with more solutions. Some cheap, easy-to-install options exist. Others may need expert aid or more money. But investing in fall prevention is investing in your independence.
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