Don’t Trip Up: Fall Prevention Tips
Bones begin to lose density and become more brittle, increasing the chances of serious injury.
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If you’re 65 years, or older, falling may present a serious risk to your health. Though many falls don’t result in serious injury, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shared that one out of five falls can cause injuries such as broken bones and head trauma.
These injuries can result in a reduced quality of life among other challenges. Falls aren’t a normal part of aging, so make sure to take steps to stay safe and independent.
What are some ways to reduce the risk of falls?
Talk with your Primary Care Provider (PCP)
Ask your PCP to assess your risk for falling. Bone density tests not only help determine if your bones are weak, they also can help in the diagnosis of osteoporosis. You may also want to ask if a vitamin D supplement would be beneficial to add as you age to maintain strong bones.
Try balance exercises
Staying physically active is still important as you age. Certain types of exercise programs can help you increase your muscle strength, build a stronger core, and improve your balance, all of which can help reduce your fall risk. Talk to your doctor for recommendations.
Related: How to Maintain and Improve Your Balance as You Age
Check your vision
Have your eyes checked annually to update or confirm your prescription. To verify your vision coverage, call Member Services at 800-538-5038.
Make your home safer
Make sure your home is well-lit. If you are having trouble standing or staying balanced, add railings in your bathroom near the toilet and tub to assist you.
Certain areas in your home can become slippery when wet. For areas such as bathtubs, showers, or kitchen and bathroom floors, get some nonslip mats to create a more stable surface.
Clean up clutter
Pick up any magazines, jackets, boxes, or loose papers that may be cluttering hallways, stairways, or walkways. Watch out for throw rugs that can bunch up.
Medications that affect the brain, alter blood pressure, or lower blood sugar can increase your risk of falling. Review your medications together to see if any prescriptions or over-the-counter drugs may have side effects like drowsiness or dizziness.
Yearly medication reviews with your pharmacist and doctor can help you identify medications that may be putting you at risk for a fall, and you can create a plan as to how to proceed.
Related: 5 Healthy Habits for Seniors
Source: “Important Facts About Falls.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017. Web. 20 Sept. 2017.; “How to Prevent Medication-Related Falls: Senior Star.” Senior Star Corporate, 18 Feb. 2021, www.seniorstar.com/blog/medication-fall-risk/.