Falling presents a significant threat to the well-being of older adults, often leading to severe injuries, hospitalization, and sometimes death. With age, the risk of falling can increase as a result of health issues such as arthritis, muscle weakness, and poor balance. Tips for preventing falls can start with evaluating prescription medications that may affect balance. It is beneficial to create a safer home environment by keeping pathways clear of cords and removing loose carpets or rugs. Installing additional lighting in dim areas and staircases, and placing nightlights in key locations are effective fall prevention techniques. Additional methods can consist of decluttering living spaces, especially around stairs and narrow passageways, and installing handrails on both sides of steps, indoors and outdoors. Put grab bars near the toilet and bathtub, and use non-slip mats in the bathroom. Choose shoes with secure soles and proper back support, avoiding loose slippers or socks. A podiatrist can aid in the prevention of falls through assessments of balance, strength, and walking gait. For more information, it is suggested that you make an appointment with this type of doctor who can guide you toward living in a safe environment.
Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with Paul A. Santangelo, DPM from Illinois. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.
Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.
How to Prevent Falls
Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:
- Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
- Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
- Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
- Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
- Utilizing a walker or cane
- Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
- Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness
Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.