For adults age 65 and older, having a fall can be a serious health hazard.
In a given year, one of every three people age 65 or older falls, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Statistics show that falls are the number one cause of injury-related death among these mature adults. So, what might start out as a simple misstep can become something quite serious. Here are some of the best ways to prevent a fall at home.
1. Recognize that there's a natural loss of strength and balance as you age. You may have jumped over puddles or taken two steps at a time up the stairs when you were younger, but it may not be the best approach today.
2. Have your eyes checked regularly. Falls aren't always associated with a lack of attention or being a little klutzy, sometimes they're the result of changes in vision and not seeing well enough.
3. Know the side effects of your medication. Talk with your doctor and find out if your medication may cause dizziness, drowsiness or any other symptoms that would make you less steady on your feet.
4. Make your home fall prevention friendly. Put non-skid treads on stairs and a non-slip mat in the bathtub. Make sure that your home has adequate lighting inside as well as outdoors. Likewise, store things in lower cabinets and shelves so that you're not climbing a step stool to get everyday items.
5. Use aids when helpful. Handrails along stairs, grip bars in the shower, and even a cane or walker can make moving around your home easier and safer.
At Plaza Medical Center of Fort Worth, we're dedicated to the healthy aging of the older adults in our community. To learn more about the Plaza Senior Health Clinic, visit us online or call us at (817) 259-4333. For a physician referral, simply call us at 1-855-80PLAZA.