One of the greatest threats to a senior’s health and wellbeing is actually something completely avoidable – falls. While the accidents themselves rarely lead to death, they can cause painful injuries that can take a considerable amount of time to heal. On top of this, the injuries can actually result in fatalities, often up to a year after the fall has taken place.
As you can see, this is quite a serious matter and it is important to take the necessary precautions to prevent such situations. Fortunately, there are a number of things that you can do to lower your chances of falling. Here is what you should be aware of:
Be Aware of Changes in Your Health
The older you get, the more likely you are to experience symptoms that weren’t an issue before. This could include dizzy spells, weakness, fatigue, poor eyesight and brittle bones. Now, it can be tempting to ignore these signs and chalk them up to the aging process. However, this can be risky for a number of reasons. First, these problems could be the result of an underlying and dangerous medical condition. For example, lightheadedness or dizziness could be a result of either high or low blood pressure. Then there is the fact that the symptoms themselves could lead to a greater likelihood of accidents. If you are weak and attempt to move around, for instance, you could fall down and not be able to get up.
Improve Your Body
One of the main causes of your muscles weakening is usually due to a lack of exercise. The older that you get, the more nervous you can be about working out, particularly out of fear of falling down. Well, interestingly enough, by not exercising, you are putting your body at a greater risk of falling. This is because without frequent activity, your muscles weaken and you begin to lose balance. Simple things like going for a walk every day or engaging in tai chi can greatly help you regain your strength.
Make Your Home a Safe Place
While your home may be where you feel safest, it could actually be riddled with ways in which you can fall and hurt yourself. For starters, do you have assistive fixtures where they are needed the most? If you have trouble walking unsupported, you are going to require handrails and bars that you can hold onto. Moreover, they need to be placed in the right locations. A good place would be in the bathroom near the toilet as well as the shower. All of the stairways in the house should also be fitted with handrails.
Another common reason for falling over is uneven flooring and obstacles. This is why it is important to make sure that all the floors and walkways are flat and free of clutter. Therefore, cables should not be spread out across the floor but should be placed along walls. Also, if there are rugs or carpets in the house, all the sides should be taped down. If you have raised doorway edges, then these should be removed for safety purposes.
Use Assistive Devices as Recommended
Have you been diagnosed with back problems, joint issues, or difficulty maintaining your balance? If so, there is a good chance that, in addition to the medication and exercises, you have also been prescribed a walking cane. Now, many seniors avoid using their canes at all costs. They either feel self-conscious about this accessory or simply can’t be bothered with it. Well, if your doctor has asked you to use a walking cane, you definitely should. Not only do the sticks make it easier for you to balance, they also distribute weight evenly as you walk around. This means that there is less strain on your joints. Although it may seem odd at first, you are sure to get used to walking around with your cane.
These are all the ways you can cut down on the possibility of you falling by a considerable degree.
Jennifer Parson is a full-time caregiver for her elderly parents. Their issues with movement are what prompted her to begin researching all the remedies and options available. She shares her findings on her website, http://walkingcaneguide.com/ , with the community in the hopes that it will improve lives.