As we age, the risk of falling increases. Falling is a serious issue in the aging community, as it is the leading cause of injury in older adults. Falls can lead to hospitalization or even death, so it is important to try to prevent falling as much as possible. While home care, like our services at Safe Harbor Home Care, can help with preventative tasks, it’s important to understand the risks of falling and what one can do to prevent it. To avoid possible injury, there are three key steps you should take to help prevent falling.
1. Talk to a Doctor
As with any health issue, your doctor is a valuable resource. Your doctor will discuss your medication, previous falls, and other health conditions with you. The doctor will address if there are any health conditions that might cause you to fall in the future, such as eye or ear disorder.
Be prepared to talk about any health conditions you have, and how your current walking and standing are. Your doctor may also do an evaluation of your muscle strength and balance as well. It is important to bring a list of all the medications you are currently taking to have your doctor review. This includes prescription and over the counter drugs. Some medications might have side effects that could lead to a potential fall.
During your visit, you may also discuss previous falls. This includes details like when and where, and if you managed to catch yourself. Details like these can help your doctor identify why you fell, and if there are any specific fall prevention measures you should take in the future.
2. Tidy Up and Lighten Up Your Home
When you age in place, it’s especially important to keep your home prepared for fall prevention. You can’t avoid what you can’t see, so keeping a tidy home is very important. By some simple preventative cleaning, you can easily remove potential tripping hazards. Here are some steps to take as you walk through your home:
- Remove electrical cords from walkways.
- Secure loose rugs and mats.
- Put everyday-use items in easy to reach places.
- Use non-slip bathroom mats.
- Place night lights in common areas of movement, including the bedroom, bathroom, and hallways.
- Place a lamp within reaching distance of the bed.
Some other preventative measures you can take are installing handrails, adding a raised toilet seat, putting up grab bards, and adding nonslip treads to bare steps. Every individual will have different needs, so it’s important to evaluate the situation and prepare accordingly. Many home care services can help with tasks like tidying up, so discuss these concerns with the professionals as well.
3. Keep Moving
Finally, physical exercise goes a long way when it comes to fall prevention. With your doctor’s approval, join a walking group, water aerobics, or tai chi. These types of exercises are gentle light exercises that can help increase strength, balance, and flexibility. By ignoring physical activity, health can decline a lot more rapidly, and falling will be much more likely.
It’s important to not let the fear of falling rule your life. While fall prevention is important, so is living a happy and active life. With Safe Harbor Home Care‘s services, you can keep up with your home, while still enjoying your independence. To learn more about our services, and how we can fit into your aging in place plan, visit our website. We are always happy to answer any questions or concerns, so contact us to talk more!