As we get older, our risk of falling increases. Things like climbing stairs, stepping in and out of the shower, or even just sitting down and getting out of bed can put us at risk of an injury from falling. In fact, research shows that more than one out of four older adults fall each year.
To maintain your independence in retirement, it is important that you take steps now to reduce your risk for fall-related injuries.
Understanding risk factors
Everyone is at risk of an accidental fall, but there are many factors that contribute to falls, specifically in older adults. The following risk factors should be taken into consideration to help prevent more serious issues:
- Muscle weakness
- Issues with balance
- Certain medications
- Vision problems
- Dangerous living environments
Older adults can help safeguard their home and decrease their likelihood of falling by:
Eliminating clutter and removing tripping hazards.
The simplest way to prevent senior falls is to keep living areas tidy and clutter-free. Remove unnecessary or bulky furniture, get rid of clutter, like stacks of books or boxes, and remove loose cords or rugs from the home.
Engaging in physical activity.
Talk to your doctor about integrating physical activity into your daily routine. Low-impact exercises like walking, swimming or yoga can help with coordination, balance and lower body strength.
Wearing proper shoes.
Older adults should wear shoes with non-slip soles to reduce the risk of falls and improve their stability. Similarly, shoes with a low heel and good arch support are also recommended for seniors. Avoid wearing socks or shoes with slick soles in the house to prevent slips, trips and falls.
Making your home safer.
You spend a lot of time in your house. Take the necessary precautions to prevent falls in the home by:
- Making sure your home has proper lighting. Add night lights in bedrooms, bathrooms and hallways if you get up during the night.
- Having railings on all the stairs in your home. Make sure to hold onto these railings when going up and down the stairs.
- Putting in grab bars inside and outside your bathtub or shower. You can also put them by your toilet.
- Using non-slip mats in the bathtub or shower.
Talking to your doctor.
It is important to maintain annual appointments with your general physician. Talk to your doctor about any medications you are taking that may cause dizziness or sleepiness. Similarly, don’t forget to have your vision checked, as being able to properly see and hear are key in preventing falls in seniors.
Support and Care at Country Place Senior Living
While falls are a serious concern for older adults, they do not have to be an inevitable part of aging. By taking precautions now to prevent fall-related accidents, older adults can reduce their risk of injury while maintaining their independence and quality of life.
If or when the time comes that your aging parent or loved one can no longer live safely on their own, consider the move to a senior living community. At Country Place Senior Living, our assisted and memory care communities are thoughtfully designed to enhance a senior’s mobility while dramatically decreasing fall risks around the property. We provide all the comforts of home, a variety of services and amenities and the added benefit of full-time support and caregiving for our residents. To learn more, schedule a tour today.