Over half of all falls take place at home. Get the Fall Prevention checklist to safeguard your home and read this article to find out what else you can do to protect yourself.
Preventing falls takes determination. We lose muscle mass as we age; however, you can restore strength and flexibility. It’s never too late to start an exercise program, which will improve your balance and strength. You’ll find the benefits will be much more than just preventing falls. You will also sleep better, feel better, and look better. Tai Chi is one of the best exercises for this, because it works on both balance and strength. However, keeping active can be as easy as implementing a walking program. What could be better than getting outside and walking with friends?
Keep up to date on your vision appointments and buy those new glasses! How often do we skip the yearly eye doctor apt or even go to the doctor and never get the new script filled? Why is that important to falling? It’s easy to trip over something you can’t see. Especially now as the days get shorter and it’s getting dark so early. Making sure that you can see well is a crucial component in your fall prevention strategy.
Address Balance Issues
If you are having trouble with balance, it’s time to address it. First, your doctor will refer you to a physical therapist who deals specifically with balance issues.
- First, they evaluate where you are and in which areas you are having trouble.
- Next, they design an exercise program for you to work on to address these issues. Finally, some exercises can help you regain your balance and strengthen the muscles necessary to keep you on your feet!
- If necessary, they may suggest a cane or walker. They will teach you how to use the cane properly. Used improperly, it can give you a backache and might even do more harm than good!
In your fall prevention assessment, your doctor can go through your medications and discuss which may cause dizziness or balance issues. Keep track, not just of prescription medications but also over-the-counter meds. They can cause problems as well. If you have several medications, invest in a large daily dispenser that helps you easily track when to take each pill. Getting drugs mixed up or taking them improperly is another red flag for falling.
Don’t Skip Doctor Appointments
Keep up on your annual exams and doctor appointments. Make sure you discuss any issues with your doctor and family members. They are on your side. If you need some help getting things done, call Bluebird Health for Home Care services or Home Health. Ensure you’re taking advantage of all the preventative benefits now offered under Medicare, such as the Annual Wellness visit.
Have Your Doctor Check Your Feet
While you’re at your annual visit discussed above, have your doctor take a look at your feet. When you have foot problems, it can change your gait, which can also set you up for a fall. Make sure that you wear comfortable shoes. If your shoes don’t fit properly, get rid of them. Talk to your doctor about the best footwear for you. If you are a walker, they may have opinions on the best walking shoes, etc.
Safeguard Your Home
Finally, do a fall prevention walk-through of your house using this checklist; if you can take a family member- great! You might need some help getting some of these things done. Make sure you have adequate lighting on stairways and in hallways. If you have to get up in the middle of the night, you don’t want to stumble around. Grab bars are a Godsend! And they aren’t just for older adults; anyone who has a medical condition that causes balance issues can use these aides. Have one installed by the toilet and one in the shower.
That’s seven fall prevention strategies. The checklist will help you think of more. If you have others to share, be sure to leave them in the comments. Grab the free checklist from the button below, or click the image. It will help you get started on your fall prevention walk-through. If you are interested in more tips or assistance on maintaining your health and independence, contact Bluebird Health!
Don’t forget you can take this free fall quiz to see if you are at risk for a tumble.