As the fall season begins it’s time to focus on, well… falls. Falls can take a serious toll on the quality of life and independence of elders. They threaten their safety and independence and can generate enormous economic and personal cost. Falls are leading cause of hip fractures, broken bones and head trauma to people over the age of 65, making the fall season the perfect time to raise awareness about how to prevent fall-related injuries. Even a fall without injury can cause a heightened fear of falling and, as a result, reduced social engagement and isolation.
It is important to know that falling is not an inevitable result of aging. In fact, many falls can be prevented with some common sense strategies.
- Wear shoes with good support and slip-resistant soles.
- Use a cane or walker to help improve your mobility.
- Install handrails on both sides of stairways. And, always hold on.
- Remove trip hazards and clutter from stairways and walkways.
- Ensure you have adequate lighting both indoors and outdoors, especially on frequently traveled areas.
- Secure electrical and phone cords out of traffic areas.
- Remove small rugs or use non-skid mats to keep them from slipping.
- Review medications with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure side effects don’t increase your risk of a fall.
Don’t let a slip, trip or fall prevent you from an active and engaged lifestyle.