Falls are a common danger facing people as they age, and for seniors, a fall can be really bad news. A new study shows the importance of avoiding that first fall. The findings, published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, showed that more than half the seniors who went to the emergency room because of a fall either had additional falls, had to be hospitalized, or died within 6 months.
According to the National Council on Aging, every 11 seconds an older adult is seen in an emergency department for a fall-related injury. However, by becoming educated and taking a few precautions, many falls are preventable. The National Council on Aging gives 6 basic tips for preventing falls:
- Find a good balance and exercise program
Look to build balance, strength, and flexibility. Find a program you like through a local agency or through the internet, and enlist a friend.
- Talk to your health care provider
As for an assessment of your risk of falling. Share your history of recent falls.
- Regularly review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist
Make sure that one of the side effects of your medication isn’t an increased risk of falling. Take medications only as prescribed.
- Get your vision and hearing checked annually and update your eyeglasses
Your eyes and ears are key to keeping you on your feet.
- Keep your home safe
Remove tripping hazards, increase lighting, make stairs safe, and install grab bars in key areas. It goes without saying that avoiding icy walkways, and wearing the right footwear is essential to preventing falls in the winter.
- Talk to family members
Enlist their support in taking simple steps and keeping your home safe. Falls are not just a Senior issue.