The likelihood of falls increases as we age, and while they may not always result in catastrophic injuries, they can nevertheless leave us with bruises, broken bones, and a diminished sense of self.
Fortunately, there are many proactive measures we can take to lower the frequency of falls and get ready in case one does occur. Here, we examine the most frequent causes of falls and suggest ways to reduce and take precautions for them from happening.
Standard Ear and Eye Exams
As we age, keeping up with doctor and optician appointments becomes more crucial. Age-related vision and hearing loss can have a significant impact on balance, increasing the risk of falls in older persons. To ensure that any difficulties may be rectified as much as possible before they affect your equilibrium, be sure to have your hearing and eyes examined at least once every two years.
As we age, our muscles lose strength and decrease in size, which can impact our ability to balance and coordinate. Staying active is one of the most important things we can do to maintain or increase the strength of our muscles. This can entail adding a little walk outside to your morning routine or doing easy exercises at home. There are many straightforward exercises designed to enhance posture and balance that are excellent for lowering the risk of falling.
Look After Your Health
As you age, your appetite may begin to decline. This is entirely natural. However, a deficiency in energy and nutrients can increase your risk of falling. Try to eat frequently and in modest amounts, such as tiny regular snacks, or graze throughout the day to combat this. Your body requires energy to retain strength and prevent falls even if you don’t feel hungry.
To maintain a healthy lifestyle, it’s also crucial to stay hydrated, because dehydration can leave you feeling dizzy and increase your risk of falling. Water, tea, coffee, soups, broths, and even ice cream all count as hydration. You should try to at least aim for 6 glasses daily.
Take Vitamins and Medications
Keep track of your prescriptions to help avoid any nausea or vertigo, which might raise the risk of falling. This is making sure you don’t run out of your meds and taking them at the same time each day. It’s important to let your doctor know if you start taking a new medicine and notice that it makes you feel unbalanced.
Vitamins can also aid to prevent falls; for instance, calcium and vitamin D are crucial for strong bones. To maintain healthy bones and reduce the risk of falling, include nutrient-dense foods like milk and fish in your diet, or take supplements.
Make Your Home Fall-Proof
There are several quick, low-cost modifications you can make to your home to make it more accommodating as you age. Rugs on slick floors, nightlights to illuminate the path from the bedroom to the bathroom, and boxing to hide wires so you don’t trip over them are a few examples of this. Avoid filling a space with too much furniture, which might make it hard to move around. Finally, for further support, think about adding handrails to your walls.
Telecare equipment can help
Our telecare sensors can provide valuable peace of mind by automatically detecting serious falls and raising an alert to our monitoring centre or a designated carer. Find out more. Read our case studies about how telecare how helped people who were prone to falls.
Know Your Shoes!
People of all ages frequently stumble because of improper footwear. Choose comfortable shoes that won’t fall off or slip when making your shoe selection. Make sure that they are the correct width and size for your feet. Shoes that provide comfort and support are crucial, as well as having a good grip on the ground. Shoes with straps or heels should not be worn.
When It’s Raining, Be Cautious.
Travelling outside can become more hazardous for older persons, especially when there are wet pavements, high winds, slippery roads, or foggy mornings. If at all possible, stay inside when it’s nasty outside until it passes. Make sure you are ready for these situations by keeping extra food and medicine stocked in the cabinets. In case of a power outage, you should also keep flashlights on standby, along with additional blankets in case the house gets chilly. Being ready not only makes falling less likely but also gives you a sense of empowerment and control.
Guest Post by Millie Fuller – a freelance writer specialising in the health and social care sector. Being an advocate for accessible care, and her passion for writing, Millie recently took the leap into self employment. When she isn’t writing, Millie can be found hiking in her favourite spots, and spending time with family.