Aging can be a scary process for seniors. Our bodies start to weaken and if we accidentally fall and hurt ourselves, the injuries can be more substantial.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), notes that three million seniors go to the emergency room for fall injuries each year. With such a high number of injuries caused by falls, older adults need to incorporate a healthy senior lifestyle as soon as possible to help reduce the risk of injury.
What Can Cause Me To Fall?
Various causes can cause one to fall. It is important to identify any potential causes that could make you fall, that way you can do your best to avoid the risk. Here are some reasons that can cause you to fall.
To help prevent one from falling, it is important to know if they have any medical or physical hazards that can make them more likely to fall.
The CDC states that medical conditions such as lower body weakness, vitamin D deficiency, hard time balancing/walking, foot pain, and vision problems. Medications, like sedatives, can also have side effects that affect one’s balance and walking.
The wrong type of footwear can also increase the risk of falling. Uneven steps, loose tiles, rugs, or clutter can also pose a hazard and cause one to fall.
What Happens If I Fall?
Numerous injuries can occur when a senior falls. The CDC says that a fall can cause broken bones, such as a broken ankle, arm, or hip fracture. Falls can also cause head injuries which can be serious.
Along with physical injuries, falling can cause mental harm as well. Once someone falls, they may become fearful of falling again, causing them to limit their activities, which could make them weaker and more prone to falling.
How To Prevent Falls
- First and foremost, discuss with your doctor any concerns you may be having regarding your risk of falling. Talk to your doctor about your medications and if any of them could put you at risk of falling.
- Incorporate strength and balance exercise into your daily routine. Exercises can help strengthen your legs, thus helping to improve your balance.
- Get your eyes checked. Blurry vision or simply having an outdated or wrong eyeglass prescription can make you at risk of falling and hurting yourself. The wrong lenses can make objects seem closer or farther away than they are, causing you to trip on the object(s).
- Eliminate any risks and hazards at home. Make sure you wear non-slip socks around the house, especially if you have tile. To be extra cautious, wear shoes when walking indoors for balance support. Make sure any rugs you have in the hope are non-slip able and aren’t easily going to trip you.
- Get vitamin D. Try to go outside every day and get some vitamin D from the sun. If you are unable to go outside often, take a vitamin D supplement, along with goods that are rich in vitamin D such as fatty fish, seafood, egg yolks, or mushrooms.
- Eat healthily. Make sure to incorporate healthy foods and drinks into your daily diet. Drink water to stay hydrated and milk to help strengthen your bones. Eat vegetables, fruits, and whole grains as well.
- Keep up your cognitive health. Exercise your mind, just like you would your body. Do crossword puzzles, paint, cook, do puzzles, or simply play games with friends and family. By doing these activities you will strengthen your cognitive health, thus helping to keep your mind active and limit your risk of falling.
Getting older can be scary but knowing your body and talking to your doctor about any concerns you have is integral to your health and could help prevent you from accidentally falling and hurting yourself.
About the author
Melissa Andrews is the Content Marketing Strategist for Paradise Living Centers, an assisted living center for seniors with locations in Paradise Valley and Phoenix, Arizona.