Protecting our elderly family members and friends is important to all of us and we want to make sure they stay as safe as possible. Because falls are a leading cause of injury amongst the elderly, it is beneficial for us to know how to prevent these falls. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in every 3 adults aged 65 or older fall, and 2 million are treated in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries. The consequences from falls can impact the independence and overall health of seniors, but they are almost always preventable. To help you and your loved ones, we’ve outlined ways to prevent falls in the elderly.
1. Keep vision clear
Older adults should be getting yearly physicals from their doctor and vision should be included in these exams. Vision is often forgot about when trying to get around safely. Make sure older adults have the correct glasses or contacts prescriptions and that they use them. Any walkers and canes that are needed should be reviewed by a medical professional and taught for proper use.
Coordination, stability, flexibility, balance, and strong muscles and bones are crucial elements for preventing falls. These characteristics can all be achieved through exercise. Low impact exercising like cycling, walking, swimming, and even practicing tai chi, can help prepare an older adult’s body for a fall or injury. Having strong bones and ligaments can help lessen the effects of a fall if one does happen.
3. Shoes and clothing
Footwear can also play a role in fall prevention. It is recommended that elderly adults wear properly-fitting, sturdy shoes with nonskid soles. Slippers, high heels, and shoes with slick soles can make tripping or falling more of a risk. Old, stretched out shoes should be thrown away. It’s also important to make sure clothing fits well to prevent catching on something.
4. Home safety
Another way to prevent falls is to get the homes of elderly adults ready. You should remove anything they may be tripped over from stairs and other walkways. Use nonslip mats on the floor in the bathroom and in the tub. Install handrails or grab bars where support while getting around is needed. It’s also a good idea to improve lighting around the house so that older adults can see well in all rooms.
5. Review medications
It’s important to get a doctor to review all the medications older adults are taking to make sure none of them cause reactions. Some medications don’t work well together and could cause a lack of coordination or balance. Other medications could cause drowsiness or dizziness, putting seniors at a higher risk for falls. Talk to doctors about any other medical conditions you might have that could increase their risk of falling. Also, tell doctors if your loved ones have fallen in the past so they can record that history.
Joint supplements are a great non medicinal option for joint health and joint pain relief. We understand that your senior family members may be taking other medications, and this is why all natural joint supplements would be a helpful complement. It’s a good idea to also inform a doctor about which joint supplements they may be taking.
Falls are one of the most common types of injuries among the elderly and can be prevented. There is nothing worse than seeing a loved one take an accidental fall and sustain an injury or worse. Doing what you can to provide the seniors in your life with the safest environment and knowledge on how to avoid falls are just one part of the equation. Joints become more vulnerable as we age and it’s up to us to take care of them.
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