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Fall Prevention Tips for Seniors

Fall prevention is an important topic for seniors. As we get older, ongoing physical changes, health issues, and the medications used to treat those conditions make falls even more likely. In fact, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • One in four Americans aged 65+ falls each year.
  • Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall.
  • Every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall.
  • Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults.

Consider These Simple Fall Prevention Strategies:

  • Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss all medications and their side effects, existing health conditions and discuss any previous falls. Be receptive should your doctor recommend using a cane or walker to keep you steady and make you more mobile. If necessary, ask your doctor for a referral to a physical or occupational therapist. These professionals can help you develop a personalized fall-prevention strategy that works for your mobility and lifestyle.
  • Physical activity can go a long way toward fall prevention, so stay as active as possible. Any amount of exercise can help, even simple physical activities will improve mobility and can reduce the risk of falls by improving circulation, strength, balance, coordination and flexibility. Consider regular activities such as walking, a morning stretch or even low impact in-chair exercise if nothing else is possible.
  • Wear sensible shoes. Consider changing your footwear as part of your fall-prevention plan. High heels, flip-flops, worn out slippers and shoes with slick soles can make you slip, stumble and fall, and so can walking in your stocking feet. Instead, start wear properly fitting, sturdy shoes with good support and nonskid soles.
  • Avoid stairs when possible, eliminate throw rugs and unneeded furniture, pick up loose items like pet toys, and light up your living space even during the day. Be sure to use night lights in the bedroom, bathroom and hallways. And install grab bars and non-slip shower and bath mats in the bathroom. Keep dependable and ease to find flashlights in every room, just in case the power goes out.

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