Falls happen for a variety of reasons. A physical condition or medical problem may contribute to a fall, or falls can also occur when there are safety hazards in one’s environment that aren’t optimized for those with limited mobility. There are certain simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of falling.
Older adults with weak muscles, especially in the legs, are more susceptible to falls than most people are.
Tip: Doing some simple exercises such as walking or riding a bike (stationary or otherwise) can help keep leg muscles strong.
Some older adults have issues with poor balance or have trouble walking for a number of reasons including arthritis or neurological problems.
Tip: Using a walker or other type of assistive device can help reduce the risk of falling. Simple exercises such as yoga or tai chi can also help improve balance.
Keep in mind: Not all home doorways and halls can accommodate walkers or wheelchairs, so the home may require updating.
It is natural for seniors to experience a decline in vision quality. Unfortunately, poor vision is one of the major contributing factors in many falls. It can also be difficult for older eyes to adjust between dark and light areas.
Tip: Getting regular checkups with an eye doctor and ensuring glasses or contacts are up to date can help.
Overmedication is sometimes to blame for dizziness and confusion that can potentially contribute to a fall.
Tip: Talk to your doctor if you or a loved one is often dizzy or unsteady, as they may be able to adjust medications and dosages.
Reduce Your Risk of Falling in the Home
- Eliminate loose rugs
- Install grab bars in the restroom
- Ensure the home has stair railings
- Keep the home free of clutter on floors or stairs
- Brighten up the home with more or brighter light bulbs