As we get older we try our best to find ways on how to avoid falls, because we know we won’t come out of it as lightly as when we were younger. Our bones get more brittle and more prone to fractures.
Most of us have had an older relative or friend that has suffered some type of injury from a fall. This shouldn’t surprise you, considering the fact that falls are actually the leading cause of both non-fatal and fatal injuries in individuals who’re 65 or older.
Falls can often result in broken bones, head injuries, and hip fractures. However, it’s also worth noting that falling can make an older adult more fearful, thus preventing them from being active as much as they should be.
Even though most people feel safe at home, most falls occur where you live for some reason. Some of the most common causes of falls include rickety stairs, slippery floors, and electrical cords. If you have an aging parent or an older relative in your life, you need to make sure that their home is safe for them by checking on these types of things regularly.
On top of that, you should also talk to them and explain how they could reduce their risk of falling. Simply by convincing them to let go of their fear, you can help the elders in your life remain healthy and independent. Here are 5 great tips that can help your elders avoid falls.
This post may contain affiliate links.
How To Avoid Falls
Talk To Your Loved Ones About Their Current Health Conditions
The first step that you need to take is to see if your older loved one is experiencing any problems with their health. Poor health is what often leads to falling. As people grow older, they tend to lose their balance, coordination, and flexibility.
On top of that, their vision also gets impaired. That’s exactly why you need to know if anything is preventing them from functioning properly and if their health could potentially increase the risk of them falling.
After talking to them about their current health conditions, make sure to see if they’ve left anything untreated. If so, encourage them to visit their doctor as soon as possible.
Here is more advice on how to avoid falls.
You should never be in a hurry or try and rush to get somewhere. Taking it step by step is the only way to ensure that you don’t fall.
You don’t have a job, so you have all the free time in the world. This means that there is no reason for you to rush at any given moment. However long it takes you, you should always be walking calmly.
Staying In The Moment
The elderly shouldn’t let their mind wander if they’re feeling insecure about their walking. For example, walking up and down the stairs is exactly where most people fall, which is why you need to stay in the moment when doing this.
Always make sure to look around you and see if there are any obstacles in front of you. When climbing up or down the stairs, make sure to use railings whenever they are available. If you ever get dizzy while on the stairs, make sure to tightly hold on to the railing and take a deep breath.
Take care to concentrate on what your feet are doing at all stages of your climb or descent.
Enlist The Help Of A Physical Therapist
You should always check to see if there is a need to enlist the help of a physical therapist. If you’re holding onto furniture, walls, or other objects in your house while walking, then it’s the perfect time to start seeing a trained physical therapist.
Through exercise, a physical therapist can help improve your strength and balance. It’s also a good idea to get a cane or a walker, as they will provide you with more stability than random objects in your home.
Light It Right And Safety Proof
If you have an older loved one that you care about, then you should make sure to do everything in your power to make sure their home is a safe environment for them. One of the best things you can do to help them avoid falling is to install brighter light bulbs where needed.
Add rails and grab bars to places like bathrooms where it does get slippery and you may need help pulling yourself up. You could in extreme cases also put rails in passages for the same purpose.
Watch How You Dress
Loose baggy pants that drag on the floor are something you should not be wearing as you get older, as they impose a tripping risk. Also watch that your shoelaces are properly tied, as many people trip over laces.
Shoes must not be too slippery and must also be comfortable to walk in. Don’t walk around in socks unless they are the non-slip variety like these.
Live On One Level
Even with precautions in place like guardrails, stairs can present a significant falling hazard. If at all possible, try to live on one level, and if you must have stairs try to limit your trips up and down.
Keep That Core Strong
Pilates will help a lot with keeping your core strong and having a strong core will help you to regain balance quickly if you do trip as well as make you feel strong and empowered.