Minimize the Risk of Falling
More than a quarter of adults 65 and older fall each year, and falling once doubles their chances of falling again. And out of every five who fall, one is seriously injured. Many falls, however, are preventable, says Exercise Physiologist Rhonda Zonoozi. Here are some of her tips:
- Don’t resist the assistive devices. Used properly, assistive devices such as canes, glasses, hearing aids, walkers and other devices can improve our health, safety and quality of life.
- Review medications annually with a doctor or pharmacist. Some medications may lead to an increased risk of falling, and some interact with each other.
- Keep an eye on your eyes and ears. “It is important to have your eyes and ears checked regularly,” Rhonda says. Even mild hearing loss or impaired vision can increase one’s fall risk.
- Wear “friendly” footwear. Shoes should fit and have good traction. Avoid walking around the house in socks or stockings. Keep your shoes on in the house or wear slippers that are non-slippery.
- Fall-proof your home. Make sure you have good lighting throughout the house, including night lights. Keep pathways clear. Toss the throw rugs and keep pet toys picked up.
- Build up lower-body muscles. “I cannot overemphasize the importance of having strong legs to help with fall prevention,” Rhonda says. “A simple exercise to build leg strength involves getting up and down out of a chair 10 to 15 times in a row without using your hands.”