Every year, 800,000 Americans end up in the hospital because of a fall. And did you know, that at least 27,000 die every year as a result? As we can see by these statistics, falls not only impact the quality of our lives, but also shorten lifespans.
By taking simple actions, we can prevent falls and keep our lives healthy, happy and long!
#1 Manage your chronic illnesses or conditions. This may seem like a no brainer but some choose to ignore their health conditions. Allowing diseases to continue without treatment can exacerbate your symptoms and compound your risk
#2 Get an eye exam regularly- even if you think you have “normal” vision. There are different types of ways our vision gets impacted as we age, so it is important to get it checked out regularly.
#3 Stay hydrated- who knew drinking water plays such an important part in fall prevention by avoiding postural hypotension and urinary tract infections.
#4 Slow transitions from rest or lying, to sitting and standing. Try ankle pumps to get your blood flowing before you stand.
#5 Talk to physicians and pharmacists about medications- have medications reviewed regularly.
#6 Stay active and exercise regularly-to help maintain or improve your balance, strength and endurance.Talk to your doctor before starting any new community run program and remember many specific yoga or Tai Chi classes can be found online.
#7 Stop before an activity. Consider whether or not it is safe, and make a plan that reduces your risk of a fall.
#8 Problem solve alternatives/adaptations for potentially risky behaviors: Delegate the task to someone else or get help, so you are not doing the task alone.
#9 Actually use the safety supports in place!
#10 Use an assistive device, such as a walker or cane, if it has been recommended to you.
#11 Identify and eliminate fall hazards in the home- have a professional assessment completed to prevent falls- don’t wait until after a fall to have this done.
#12 Hire help to maintain the safety of your home such as caregiver, house cleaner or maintenance team when you can no longer safely perform the tasks on your own.