More than one-third of adults over the age of 65 fall each year, and about 2.1 million adults over 65 are treated in emergency rooms for injuries after a fall every year. These falls mean more pain, broken bones, and increased medical expenses. Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of injury-related death, nonfatal injuries, and hospital admissions for trauma. Here’s how you can prevent falls in the first place.
Some health conditions may cause dizziness or loss of balance, and if you’ve ever fallen before you’re more prone to fall again. Medications you’re taking also may make you dizzy or light-headed. Talk with your doctor about your risk, and make a fall prevention plan, mapping out problematic areas of your home, reducing usage of medicines that cause balance issues, etc.
Make your home fall safe
Because you spend most of your time in your home, it’s important that you’re safe there. Keep the floor clear of shoes, cords, magazines, and anything else that might be a tripping risk. Brightly light your rooms so that you can see any risky spots. Keep a wide walking path around tables and chairs, and secure any rugs with non-slip pads. If you have any stairs, put in a handrail so you’ll have something to grip.
Stay physically active
Be shoe smart
High heels, flip-flops, and sandals are out. Lace-up shoes with ankle support, shoes with low heels, and shoes with rubber soles are best. It’s a good idea to have your feet measured and have shoes fitted by a trained specialist to ensure you’re getting the best shoes for your feet.