Older Adult Falls
Falls are a threat to the health of older adults and can reduce their ability to remain independent.
However, falls aren't something that just happens when you age, there are proven ways to reduce falls.
What Conditions Make You More Likely to Fall?
Research has identified many conditions that contribute to falling. These are called risk factors. Many risk factors can be changed or modified to help prevent falls. They include:
- Lower body weakness
- Vitamin D deficiency (that is, not enough vitamin D in your system)
- Difficulties with walking and balance
- Use of medicines, such as tranquilizers, sedatives, or antidepressants. Even some over-the-counter medicines can affect balance and how steady you are on your feet.
- Vision problems
- Foot pain or poor footwear
- Home hazards or dangers such as
- broken or uneven steps, and
- throw rugs or clutter that can be tripped over.
Most falls are caused by a combination of risk factors. The more risk factors a person has, the greater their chances of falling.
What You Can Do to Prevent Falls
- Ask your doctor to evaluate your risk for falling and to review your medicines to see if any might make you dizzy or sleepy. Also ask about taking Vitamin D supplements.
- Do strength and balance exercise. Tai Chi is a good example of this kind of exercise.
- Have your eyes checked at least once a year.
- Make your home safer
- Get rid of things you could trip over.
- Add grab bars inside and outside your tub or shower and next to the toilet.
- Put railings on both sides of stairs.
- Make sure your home has lots of light by adding more or brighter light bulbs.