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Tips to Prevent Elderly Falls

Elderly woman that fell on the ground

The risk of falling increases with age and is greater for women than men. Two-thirds of those that fall will fall again within six months. A decrease in bone density can contributes to falls and injuries. Failure to exercise regularly can result in poor muscle tone, decreased strength, and loss of bone mass and flexibility.

At least one-third of all falls occur with in the home. Most fall risks are preventable.

Here are a few tips to help you avoid falls:

  • Stay physically active

Plan an exercise program that is right for you. Regular exercise improves muscles and makes you stronger. It also helps to keep your joints, tendons and ligaments flexible. Walking, climbing stairs, biking and swimming can help to achieve this goal.

  • Have your eyes and hearing tested

Even small changes in sight and hearing may cause you to fall. Annual eyes exams is advised along hearing testing.

  • Find out about the side effects of any medication you take

If a drug makes you sleepy, inform your physician or pharmacist

  • Get enough sleep

If you are sleepy, you are more likely to fall.

  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink

Even a small amount of alcohol can affect your balance and reflexes. Studies show that the rate of hip fractures in older adults increase with alcohol.

  • Stand up slowly

Getting up too quickly can cause your blood pressure to drop. Tis can make you feel wobbly. Get your blood pressure checked when lying and standing.

  • Use an assistive device if you need help feeling steady when you walk.
  • Be very careful when walking on wet or icy surfaces.
  • Were non-skid, rubber-soled, low-heeded shoes or lace-up shoes

It is important that the soles are not too thin or too thick. Don’t walk on stairs or floors in socks or shoes or slippers with smooth soles.

  • Always tell your doctor if you have fallen since your last visit, even if you aren’t hurt when you fell

A fall can alert your doctor to a new medical problem or a issue with your medications or eyesight that can corrected. Your doctor may suggest physical therapy, a walker aid, or other steps to prevent falls.

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