10 Health Tips to Help Reduce Falls
Falling is costly. Falls cause both physical and economical tolls in senior populations. The medical costs linked to injuries sustained from falls in adults over 65 was $30 billion in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These costs did not take into account the long-term effects of injuries. One out of three adults over 65 falls each year; however, this is only a small part of the picture. Seniors over 75 are five times more likely to fall than those in the younger 65 to 74 group, according to the CDC.
There is no need to be surprised at this data. As we age, our chances of developing age-related illnesses increases. In addition, our vision and hearing often deteriorates with age. Our fall risk increases as our health deteriorates.
Identifying potential health issues that will increase the risks for falling should be part of everyone’s personal wellness plan, and more so for older adults. The following is a list of health tips that may help lessen potential fall risks:
Health Tips to Lessen Fall Risks
- Have periodic vision and hearing checkups.
- If you have fall concerns, visit a doctor and discuss your worries; be outspoken, and ask, “What can I do to prevent a fall?”
- Have medications checked by the physician to see which prescriptions, along with some over-the-counter medications, could increase dizziness and loss of balance. Ask your physician and pharmacist to help identify possible drug interactions.
- Mixing alcohol and prescription drugs? A dangerous mixture could potentially increase your fall risk.
- Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep increases your fall risk.
- Are you at risk for developing osteoporosis and osteoarthritis? A physician may order relevant tests.
- If you or a loved have lead a sedentary lifestyle, start including an exercise plan that will provide you with strength, flexibility, and balance exercises. What type of exercise is the right one? A physician and a physical therapist may help identify an appropriate program. Some individuals may only be able to go for short walks while others may be able to do yoga, or Tai-Chi. For information about the advantages of balance exercises go to National Institutes of Health-Senior Health website.
- Do you have feet problems? Diabetics should check their feet daily, and ask their doctor and podiatrist to check for sores, lesions, and redness, at least four times a year or more. Are you wearing the right shoe size?
- Do you wear socks and no shoes inside your home? If you walk around in your socks, you may slip and fall. Wearing shoes inside the home may minimize falls and injuries, according to a Harvard University study.
- Nutrition is important. Are you getting enough calcium and vitamin D?
We hope that some of these health tips are helpful in minimizing your risks for falling. Falls will occur, but we need to do our best to minimize the chances. If you are concerned about falling don’t forget to have an open discussion with your physician and loved ones.
If you are caring for a loved one at home, and need assistance do not hesitate to contact Senior Helpers of Orlando at 407-628-4357.
Ana P. de Lane
Senior Helpers of Orlando Team Member
Senior Helpers Orlando, whose owners started the company after less-than-satisfactory experiences with in-home care services for their parents, has provided outstanding service to hundreds of families in the area. Specializing in Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care, Senior Helpers offers this blog to help families gain a better understanding of the health care needs of their senior loved ones and how to best care for them. For more information on how Senior Helpers Orlando can assist your family, please call us at (407) 628-4357 or visit www.seniorhelpers.com/orlando.