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  • Falls, Trips, and Topples
    As you age, your balance may suffer, your vision may be impaired, and your muscles may grow smaller and weaker, making falls more likely. The good news is that with the right lifestyle changes and safety precautions, the chances of falling can be greatly reduced. Read >>
Health and Fitness News

Falls, Trips, and Topples

Stay on your own two feet and avoid falls with these helpful tips.

You may be young, strong, and healthy and have little fear of being injured by a fall. Just wait until you’re older. Each year, one out of every four adults over the age of 65 falls. And these falls aren’t just little trips that skin a knee. They’re life-changing injuries.

In fact, falls are the number one cause of injury and fatal injury to seniors. These injuries are costly in a number of ways. After a fall, an older adult may suffer loss to their independence, finances, mental, and physical health. If you’ve fallen once, you’re twice as likely to fall again.

As you age, your balance may suffer, your vision may be impaired, and your muscles may grow smaller and weaker, making falls more likely. The good news is that with the right lifestyle changes and safety precautions, the chances of falling can be greatly reduced. Here are a few things to take into consideration.

Practice Balance and Strength-Training Exercises

One of the best ways to avoid falls at any age or stage in life is to maintain strong muscles. Strength-training exercises are the go-to exercises for building and strengthening muscle. Don’t think you have to do bench presses and deadlifts to build muscle. Work with your trainer to develop a simple, yet effective routine tailored to your abilities. Aim to strength train at least three days a week.

Balancing exercises are another great way to improve body awareness and prevent falls. The good news is that these are exercises you can do at home. And the more you do them, the greater their effect on your ability to stay on your feet.

Visit Your Eye Doctor

Vision problems contribute to your risk of falling. Adults over the age of 61 should have an eye exam every year. If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, a family history of eye disease, a previous eye injury or surgery, or are taking medications that may cause side effects related to your eyes, then you may need to see your eye doctor more often.

Review Your Medications

Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about any medications you currently take. Certain medications such as antidepressants or sedatives may cause dizziness or drowsiness, which increase your risk of suffering a fall.

Make a Safe Environment

Evaluate your home for safety hazards. You may have managed for years with clutter and uneven floor surfaces, but as you age, these things pose greater risks. Clear all walkways and move small furniture pieces out of the way. Get rid of loose rugs that are easy to trip on. Place non-slip mats in your bathtub, and use a bath seat while taking a shower. Make sure all clothes, food, dishes, and cleaning supplies are easy to reach. Install rails along stairwells, grab bars in the bathtub, and a raised toilet seat.

Keep Your Home Well-Lit

You’re more likely to trip and fall when it’s dark and you can’t see where you’re going. Avoid this problem by keeping night lights on in the bathroom and bedroom. Need to get up in the middle of the night? Turn on a lamp next to your bed first. When going up or down a set of stairs, be sure to turn the lights on in the stairwell.

Wear the Right Shoes

The right pair of shoes can help prevent falls. So you’ll want to skip the high heels or flats with slick soles. Walking around in socks can also make the floor slippery. Indoors and out, wear sturdy, supportive shoes that have non-slip soles.