Falls are a common occurrence in adults 70 years and older. Studies have shown that three in ten senior citizens fall each year. Many of those can suffer major injuries such as a broken hips or head wounds. It is important that you take measures to protect yourself and your loved ones against these preventable injuries by noticing and treating risk factors.
There are many risk factors that can cause a senior citizen to fall. Both, medical and physical conditions need to be considered. For example, you may be at risk if you have one of the following medical conditions: vision impairment, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, dizziness, etc. Research has also shown that seniors who are less active are more likely to fall, because they lack the strength and balance they need to resist falls. This is why health care professionals recommend starting a regular exercise routine of any kind.
Here are several suggestions to begin reducing your risks:
1. Make an appointment with your Doctor- discuss your medications and side effects and your current medical conditions.
2. Keep Moving- Try gentle exercises: walking, water workouts; such activities reduce your risk of falls by improving your strength, balance, coordination and flexibility. Visit a Physical Therapist to improve balance and gait, strength and stamina, and reflexes.
3. Wear sensible shoes- Make sure your shoes fit properly, visit a shoe store that can measure your foot and recommend a good fit. Also, make sure your shoes have non-slip soles.
4. Prepare your home- Remove home hazards and any obstacle that may be in your path; Electrical Cords, loose rugs, or home decorations should be put away and out of walking areas. Add lighting; make sure rooms are well lit so obstacles can be avoided. Use assisting devices such as stair rails and handrails.