Tips for Remaining Independent in Your Home: Part 1 - Fall Prevention

Small changes can go a long way in avoiding falls for senior citizens

As our parents and grandparents age, we all fear that most  devastating of events:  a fall which causes a broken hip, shoulder, arm, or leg.   So often this is the beginning of the transition to a full senior care nursing facility for senior citizens.  In this 3-part series we will look at ways to help prevent this devastating occurrence.

An ounce of Prevention...

Of course, no one can prevent the declines that come with age, and especially advanced age, but there are many easy steps you can take to help prevent those falls.  These steps fall into 3 categories:  your body, your home, and your activities away from home.

senior care fall avoidance

Today we will look at some things you can do to help your body to help prevent falls:

Stay physically active.  Have an exercise plan.  It doesn't have to be 60 minutes on the bench press five times a week.  How about 30 minutes of walking around your cul de sac, 3 times a week?  Do what you can!

See your doctors regularly.  Especially your eye and ear doctors.  Have vision and hearing tested.  Have an osteoporosis test (especially women, but it can affect older men as well).

Talk to your pharmacist about medication side effects.  Your doctor will tell you the basics, but she is very busy.  Your pharmacist would love to spend a few minutes with you giving you the full picture about your medication side effects.

Get plenty of sleep.  If you are sleepy, you are more likely to fall.

Rise slowly.  Did you know some medications will make you dizzy when you first rise from a sitting or lying position?  Sitting at the edge of the bed for a few minutes before you get up can be all that is necessary to avoid that morning fall.

Wear the right shoes.  Fashion is nice, but functionality is great!  Non-skid, rubber soled, low heeled shoes are your best choice.  Avoid socks or slippers at home that have thin or smooth bottoms.

Choose proper walking aids.  If your medical professionals recommend a cane or walker, be sure to follow their instructions carefully in choosing the right type and size.  Have walkers inspected every 90 days to be sure the wheels and glides are in good shape.  Many full service pharmacies will do this for you for free.

Seek assistance with chores.  Excessive stretching or reaching to put away groceries or laundry can lead to falls.  You might be extra tired after a shopping session.  Put the refrigerated and frozen items away and rest a while before you deal with the dry goods.  Have a friend help.  Or, contact a senior care provider service like Seniors Helping Seniors® for a little extra help.

As you can see, a little common sense and a few small, but practical changes can dramatically reduce chances of a fall for senior citizens.  For even more ideas, read what the Mayo clinic has to say about fall prevention in senior citizens here.

Please check back tomorrow for ways to prepare your senior citizen's home to help prevent falls.