It’s National Fall Prevention Week! We started off this week with 6 surprising (and possibly depressing) facts about falls.
Thankfully, there IS good news! There are simple and achievable ways that you can reduce your risk of falling (or that of a loved one).
Here are four of our favorite ways to reduce falls:
- Get moving- preferably with a strength and balance program specifically for older adults. The stronger you are and the more you use your muscles, the more your body can balance and protect itself in fall-risk situations.
- Review your medications with a pharmacist or doctor- some side-effects (like drowsiness or dizziness) can increase your risk of falling. Check regularly with your professional to make sure you’re taking your medication as prescribed, and let them know if these side-effects are a problem.
- Get your hearing and vision checked annually- obviously, having the right glasses or prescription can affect your ability to navigate, but did you know that your hearing can also affect your balance? The systems that affect balance and dizziness actually reside in your ears, so don’t neglect to talk to your doctor or a specialist about this.
- Make your home more fall-proof- by removing tripping hazards such rugs or cords, improving lighting, and adding grab bars in areas like the bathroom, you can make your home safer.
There are also lots of community resources to turn to if you feel that you’re at risk of falling. AGE has two programs that help fight falls:
- free health equipment lending gets older adults the equipment they need to stay safe and mobile. Loans are free and have no specific time-limits. Email or call us at 512-600-9288 to reserve your equipment today.
- ‘A Matter of Balance’ fall-prevention classes through CaregiverU. This program is designed to reduce the risk of devastating falls in older adults, and to help seniors develop an active, healthy lifestyle. Participants learn to view falls and fear of falling as controllable; set realistic goals to increase activity; change their environment to reduce fall risk factors; and exercise to increase strength and balance. Click here for the current schedule for A Matter of Balance.
Fall prevention is essential to protecting the health and independence of older adults. What other tips have you heard about or used to reduce your risk of falling?