In October 2018 we wrote about how to prevent falls around the home with some important tips on how to prevent falls around the home, to read that article click here.
This month we’re talking about even more ways to prevent falls.
Here are some surprising facts and statistics related to seniors and falls:
- Falls are the leading cause of injury among older
- Canadians. 20-30% of seniors experience one or more falls each year.
- Falls are the cause of 85% of seniors’ injury-related hospitalizations.
- Falls are the cause of 95% of all hip-fractures.
- 50% of all falls causing hospitalization happen at home.
The good news is most falls can be prevented here’s a few tips:
Eat Healthy Balanced Meals
- Nutritious meals keep up strength, resistance and balance. Be sure to eat lots of vegetables and fruits.
- Don’t skip meals. It can cause weakness and dizziness.
- Engage in physical activity every day. It’s your best defence against falls.
- Walk. Try Tai Chi. Do what you can to maintain your flexibility and balance.
- Build your muscle and bone strength by doing “resistance” activities or exercises (such as weight lifting). Consult your doctor before you embark on an exercise program.
- Have your hearing and vision checked regularly.
Use Medication Wisely
- Ask your doctor or pharmacist about possible side effects of prescription or over-the-counter medication.
- Always read directions carefully so you’re aware of potential reactions with other medications. If you aren’t sure talk to your pharmacist.
- If your medication causes dizziness or sleepiness, adjust your activities so you aren’t at risk of falling.
- Don’t mix alcohol and medications. Alone or in combination with medication, alcohol can cause falls.
Use Safety Aids
- Don’t be embarrassed to use aids in your daily living—they can keep you safe and active.
- Always wear your glasses and hearing aid.
- Consider using a walker or cane. If you use a cane, make sure that it’s the correct height and that it’s rubber-tipped for safety.
- Appropriate footwear is important. Comfortable shoes that provide good support can help to prevent falls.
- Find out about other gadgets that can make your life safer: reachers, anti-skid soles, hip protectors, etc.
If You Fall...
- Try to land on your buttocks to prevent more serious injuries.
- Don't rush to get up. Make sure you are not injured before trying to get up or letting others help you get up.
Don't let the fear of falling again prevent you from being active. Inactivity creates an even greater risk of falling.