6 Fall Prevention Tips For Seniors

seniors exercising to help build strength and prevent fallsYou may be surprised to learn that an older adult suffers a fall in the United States every second of every day. Falls can result in hip fractures, broken bones, and head injuries. As a matter of fact, for those 65 and older, falls are the number one cause of both nonfatal and fatal injuries. Even falls that don’t result in a major injury can cause an individual to become fearful or depressed — making it challenging to stay active. As a result, taking fall prevention measures becomes more and more important as we age.

Fortunately, there are simple things you can do to prevent falls. Here are six proven fall prevention tips anyone can follow to stay safe both in your home and outside.

Fall Prevention: 6 Tips for Seniors

1. Get Enough Rest

When you’re tired, your reflexes and response time decrease, increasing your risk of falling. For that reason, ensure you get enough sleep– seven to nine hours each night. Lack of sleep can quickly lead to slower movement, less awareness of your environment, and confusion. Don’t hesitate to sit or lie down until you’re rested if you feel tired.

2. Wear Appropriate Shoes

Although they are stylish, wearing high heels or slip-on backless shoes increases your chances of falling. The same goes for loose-fitting shoes. For example, high heels shift your center of gravity and force you to shorten your stride — heightening your chances of tripping. This is, however, one of the more manageable fixes. Opt for low heels, rubber soles, and non-skid shoes. Grab the lace-up sneakers with non-skid soles if you’re doing a full day of walking.

3. Get More Exercise

Strong muscles help you balance and protect you should you fall. So, get regular exercise to keep your muscles strong. Choose activities that increase balance, flexibility, and strength to help keep your joints, ligaments, and tendons healthy. Regular exercise also helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis and keeps your bones healthy.

4. Slow Down and Use Assistance 

It’s a fast-paced world, and we could all benefit from slowing down. We even get up quickly, which can cause us to feel a bit lightheaded and unsteady. The key is to stand up slowly and take that extra minute to get your bearings. It’s also wise to use a walker or a cane if you need support when moving, especially outdoors. If you need some assistance but aren’t sure which walking aide is appropriate, ask your doctor.

5. Be mindful of Your Medications 

Many medications have side effects, including sleepiness, dizziness, weakness, and confusion. These can all cause unsteadiness on your feet. Other medications may cause you to go to the bathroom more frequently or urgently. Rushing has a way of tripping us up. If you notice any side effects from your medications, talk to your physician about it. They may be able to prescribe alternatives with fewer or no side effects.

6. Do a Safety Assessment of Your Home 

This aspect may be the most important of all. Your home is your haven, and it’s crucial that you make it as safe for you to move around as possible. The perfect place to start is by increasing the lighting throughout your home, especially around stairs. The goal is to increase visibility throughout your entire house. Additionally, ensure that you can easily access lighting when getting up at night.

Other fall prevention efforts you can take around your home include keeping paths and walkways clear indoors and out. Remove any rugs that could be tripping hazards and attach secure rails on all stairs. Installing easy-to-reach grab bars in your tubs and near toilets is another simple step. And because so many falls occur in the shower, consider installing a hand-held shower and a shower chair.

Prevent Falls  

Statistics show that the risk of falling increases as we age. The good news is that we can take simple but effective fall prevention steps. At The Cabana at Jensen Dunes, all our beautiful homes are designed and tastefully equipped to allow you to age in place comfortably and safely so you can enjoy your daily activities – in your home and out.

To learn more about The Cabana at Jensen Dunes, an assisted living and memory care community serving Jensen Beach and Port St. Lucie, FL, or to schedule a private tour, call 772-758-1003.