Each year, more than 1.6 million older adults go to emergency rooms for fall-related injuries. In fact, falls are the number one cause of hospital admissions for trauma and injury-related deaths among adults over 65. Falls result in many older adults losing their independence as they age. It’s no wonder many older adults become increasingly concerned with falling as they age.
Always Tell Your Doctor
If you fall, even once, it’s important to tell your doctor. A fall could be a sign of a new medical problem, such as diabetes or a change in your blood pressure. Falls can also be an indication of a problem with the medications you are taking or your eyesight. Your doctor may suggest changes that can help prevent a dangerous fall from happening again, such as a different medication, a walking aid, physical therapy, or even a change in your eyewear prescription.
Key Steps to Prevent Falls
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent falls as you get older. Here are some ideas to consider:
- Exercise can improve your balance and strengthen your muscles, helping to prevent falls. Ask your doctor about developing a safe exercise regimen.
- Make your home safer by removing loose rugs, adding handrails to stairs and hallways, and making sure there is proper lighting where needed. The bathtub and shower can be especially dangerous – consider having one or more grab bars installed in your bathing area.
- If you tend to feel lightheaded when you stand up quickly, take the time to get up slowly from your bed or chair. After you stand up, wait for a few seconds before you move.
Remember, falls can be prevented. Taking the right steps now is the best way to avoid the problems falls can cause in the future.