The statistics surrounding seniors and injury-causing falls are staggering: 1 in 4 adults over 65 experiences a fall every year. After a fall, many seniors experience a constant fear of falling again. This fear can lead to a lack of confidence in physical movements and even cause seniors to avoid physical activity. Some studies even show that fear of falling is by itself a fall risk. Fall prevention can help your loved one live more safely and confidently.
Check out our top fall prevention measures for seniors.
Do A Home Safety Assessment
The majority of falls experienced by seniors occur in a residence. According to the World Health Organization, over 40% of falls occur inside the home; many of them result in fractures, broken bones and other mobility-limiting injuries. Clutter, exposed cords and wires and thick area rugs can contribute to falls by seniors in the home. A careful safety assessment of your living area can help you eliminate tripping threats. Tuck in cords and wires. Smoothe down and secure rug edges so they won’t catch your loved one’s feet as they walk. Consider installing additional lighting and railing in certain areas of your home to provide more security and support.
Get An Eye Exam/Invest in Vision Materials
Does your aging loved one have a history of vision issues?Visual impairment is one of the leading causes of falls among seniors. Regular eye exams can help an aging individual maintain up-to-date vision materials like eyeglasses or contacts. Many seniors don’t realize their eyesight has gotten worse, especially if they no longer drive or work. Help your loved one visit the eye doctor and get an updated prescription for glasses or contacts. Help them get medications to treat any illnesses that may affect their vision.
Encourage Exercise and Strength-Building Activities
As we age, we naturally lose muscle mass, physical strength and stamina. This is why it’s so important for seniors to stay active and engage in at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Unfortunately, many aging adults develop health problems that prohibit regular exercise. A lack of exercise can contribute to reduced physical strength, balance problems and issues maintaining a steady gait. These issues, in turn, significantly increase a senior’s risk of falling. You can help your aging loved one maintain or build muscle mass by helping them stay active. Water aerobics can be a fun, low-impact exercise for seniors who have painful joints or mobility issues. You can also help them find exercise programs created especially for seniors. We recently wrote about the importance of staying active as you age–and we included a few of our favorite YouTube channels designed especially for seniors. With physical activity and strength-building, your loved one can maintain confidence in their movements and lower their risk of falls. Have more questions about senior health and wellness?Check our blog for regular updates!
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