Three Steps to Prevent Falls
Trung Bui, DPT
On average, one in four seniors will fall each year. Out of those falls, one out of five will result in a severe injury. As we age, our chances of falling increases. The risk of falling is due to having less agility or balance problems as well as having reactions to medications we take to treat medical conditions. Changes in our vision as well as hazards around our homes like rugs, slippery surfaces and pets and their toys also contribute to falling.
The key to preventing falls is to remember three things: Move, Improve, Remove.
Moving your body will improve your balance and posture. Movement also strengthens your muscles and bones while at the same time improving your overall fitness and well-being. Simple exercises can be added to your daily routine to keep you physically fit and build strength in core areas. You can learn more about these exercises by attending John Knox Village’s Senior Fitness Class or scheduling an appointment at Oak Park Rehabilitation.
Improving your health will help you stay active and independent longer. An easy way to improve your health is to check your medicines on a regular basis and make sure to mention any changes such as pain, dizziness, depression or drowsiness to your physician. It is also a good idea to have an annual eye exam to help identify vision problems such as cataracts and glaucoma, that may decrease your ability to see colors or objects from different angles.
Removing hazards around your home is a simple way to ensure that you are reducing your risk of falling. Below are a few easy things that you can do to make your home safer:
• Remove rugs, mats, slippery tiles and objects on the floor
• Make sure that you have enough lighting
• If you spill something, clean it up right away
• Create larger walkways around your home and make sure that walkways are clutter-free
• Keep everyday objects in easy to reach areas
• If you have a fall, always make sure you let someone know