5 Tips to Prevent Dangerous Falls
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in every three adults falls each year. These falls can cause painful and dangerous injuries such as hip fractures, back injuries and head traumas, and they can even increase the risk of early death.
For older adults, the risk of injury and death is even greater. Most fractures among this age group are caused by falls, with the most common fractures occurring in the spine, hip, forearm, leg, ankle, pelvis, upper arm, and hand.
You can do a lot to prevent falls by taking precautions around your home, as well as by decreasing your risk of falling. Here are five tips to help you stay on your feet and out of the ER.
1. Exercise regularly to build leg strength and improve balance and coordination. For older adults, exercises like Tai Chi can help improve these key areas of physical health.
2. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medications. Some medicines (both prescription and over-the-counter) can cause dizziness or drowsiness, making your more susceptible to falls.
3. Wear proper shoes and safety devices to help you get around safely. Shoes should have rubber soles and short laces or Velcro fasteners; avoid unstable shoes like slippers, flip-flops, and heels. Use a cane or walker for added support if needed.
4. Be aware of your surroundings both inside and out of your home. Keep an eye out for objects that could trip you up when walking, such as uneven sidewalks, door steps, liquid spills, toys and pets. Keep night lights in your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and hallways.
5. Make your home safer by adding even more preventative devices and gear. Install grab bars inside and outside the tub or shower, as well as next to the toilet. Add railings on both sides of stairways, too.
These five simple steps can go a long way toward fall prevention, helping to keep you and your back safe and healthy.