Preventing Falls in the Elderly

senior falls

Fall Prevention Education

Regardless of age, we should all be striving to find balance in our lives.

Between work and play, socializing and solitude, and spending and saving.

However, as we age, “balance” tends to have a different meaning. At some point, we must focus more on the literal definition of balance, which is the ability to remain upright and steady on your feet, and preventing falls in the elderly is something that is a top concern at senior living communities.

Elderly Fall Statistics

According to reports, falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths in those age 65 and over, and one-third of all seniors will experience a fall during the year. These falls often happen due to muscle attrition that takes place over time. In this case, the only way to help offset this issue is through exercises aimed at combatting such problems.

Preventing Elderly Falls

Fortunately, with proper training and the strength it provides, experts believe that as many as 90 percent of these incidents are preventable.

The National Institute of Health recommends that, if possible, seniors regularly do the following exercises – while holding onto a sturdy chair if necessary – in order to improve their balance:

  • Practice standing on one foot.
  • Do back leg raises.
  • Do side leg raises.
  • Practice walking heel to toe (do this one slowly).
  • Practice “balance-walking” – that is, with your arms raised to the sides at shoulder height and with a one-second pause between each step.

How to Safeguard Your Home from Falls

There are also several steps you can take – no pun intended! – to ensure that you minimize your risk for losing your balance. These include:

  • Eliminate area rugs and small carpets from your home, as these could easily lead to slips and falls.
  • Wearing only sturdy shoes – even when at home.
  • Make sure rooms are well lit when you’re walking into a room or when occupying it.
  • Wear your eyeglasses at all times if prescribed.
  • Line slippery surfaces, such as bath tubs and showers, with rubber mats for added grip.
  • When sleeping, be sure you have easy and quick access to a flashlight in case the power goes out during the night and you need to leave the bed or bedroom area.
  • Place items that you use most frequently in convenient and easy-to-reach spaces.

Senior Living

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