According to the U.S. CDC, one in three adults over the age of 65 has a fall in any given year. Falls are currently the primary cause of injury-related deaths in this age range. They are also the most common cause of trauma-related admissions to hospital. Whether you are above the age of 65, or you care for someone who is, knowing how to prevent a fall could help you save a life.
There are multiple risk factors that you can take care of to help prevent falls. The first factor is not enough physical activity. As people get older it becomes harder and harder to engage in physical activities. This factor leads to a lack of strength and a loss of the flexibility in their bones and muscles. All of these factors can contribute significantly to a fall.
Ways For Older Adults To Stay Active!
However, there are many ways that senior citizens can stay active and healthy. Regular, daily exercise is a great place to get going. At least 15 minutes of an exercise that is designed to increase bone strength and flexibility should be done every other day. This exercise can be going for a walk or even going for a light swim a few times per week.
When senior do not take the time to engage in adequate exercise their chance of falling increases. It is extremely important that you stay safe and be very careful when lifting things and bending over. Make sure that you have control of your balance when standing up or going to sit down in a chair.
What Affect Do Medications Have?
Some medications can impair the balance and coordination that you have, it can also reduce the level of mental alertness that you have. You should check to see if your medication can cause a drop in blood pressure, as this can throw you off balance a lot more. Ensure that you clearly understand all of the side-effects of the medications that you are taking, and make sure to tell your doctor if you have any concerns about your balance or coordination. You must also be aware of environmental factors that can increase falls, these include loose rugs, poor lighting or unsteady furniture. These environmental hazards are a huge risk factor for senior falls.
In order to reduce these environmental risk factors you must take the time to go through the house and locate any potential dangers and hazards. You should keep all furniture in good condition and you can secure any rugs with special nonskid tape. Finally, you may also want to consider installing grab bars around the house, these will help you to get up and down safely.
By being healthy and active you can help to prevent the severity of the falls. Falls among seniors are scary, but there are strategies that you can do to help prevent them!
For Your Health,
Dr. Joseph Gambardella, Dr. Todd Brown and Dr. Benjamin Erb