As we get older physical changes in our bodies make it easier for us to fall. Many elderly people have health conditions that cause mobility problems and instability in their walking. They may take medications for these conditions which also puts them more at risk of falling. Falls are a major cause of injury in seniors. Worrying about falling shouldn’t keep you from living your life to the fullest. There are ways of preventing falls.
Though you would think that physical activity would lead to a fall, it actually helps with mobility, flexibility and balance. Try gentle exercise such as slow dancing (this can be done alone too!), water exercises, tai chi or anything where you move your body slowly and stretch. Any of these can improve your coordination and make your muscles stronger which will help you avoid falling.
See your doctor.
If you find yourself unsteady on your feet or if you have already fallen, see your doctor. There are many things that can lead to a fall including medication, failing eyesight, ear problems that leave you off balance and other health conditions. A doctor can test your gait and test your muscle strength. They may also ask if you have dizzy spells or other symptoms.
Look around your home.
Many of us have area rugs that are slippery or that we could trip over. Check the major walkways of your home and make sure that there is a clear path through your house. Move any small items of furniture or electrical cords away from this area and repair floors or remove carpets that are loose. At the same time, go through your wardrobe. Avoid anything with long hems or clothes that are overly loose and can catch on knobs or handles.
September 22nd is Falls Prevention Awareness Day. Prevent falls in your home by going through it room by room and making it a safer place for you to live. To read more on preventing falls in seniors, click here.