The temperature is dropping, and we’re starting to spend more time indoors. As a senior, being indoors doesn’t decrease the chances of a fall from happening – in fact, half of the falls that occur at home require hospitalization. If you do fall as a senior, the recovery is typically quite long.
To keep you or your loved one safe, now’s the time to start practicing some falls preventions tips. Here are our top four!
Remove Hazards from Home
Keeping safe at home starts by creating a secure environment.
Remove any common tripping hazards, such as throw mats and loose cables and wear non-slip socks or shoes indoors. Keep any clutter from accumulating on the stairs inside your home and outside, remove snow and ice as soon as possible. Many municipalities have snow clearing partnership opportunities such as Snow Buddies, so reach out if you need assistance to complete snow clearing.
In a long-term care facility, most falls happen when a senior’s on their way to or from the bathroom. In the evenings, keep a light on in the hallway and bathroom so that you can easily find your way there when it’s dark. If you’re finding it too difficult to make the trip in the middle of the night, have a commode at your bedside.
Use Safety Aids
There are plenty of safety aids available today, so why not make use of some of them?
Start by installing railings in appropriate locations, along with bathroom safety products such as grab bars. If you require a mobility aid, there are plenty of options for walkers and wheelchairs. Regardless of what you choose, make sure that the mobility aid is the appropriate size for you and that you know how to use it properly.
Exercising is one of the best things we can continue doing as we age. Besides improving mental health, providing more energy, and preventing or delaying heart disease, diabetes, or osteoporosis, exercising can help prevent falls.
Poor balance is one of the leading causes of falls, along with decreased muscle and bone strength. By exercising regularly, our strength and flexibility improve – leading to better balance and coordination.
Use Medications Wisely
If you are using prescription medication, consult with your doctor or pharmacist on its potential side effects. If you find out that dizziness, drowsiness, or bathroom urgencies are common side effects, then you can adjust your daily activities accordingly.
Always remember to avoid mixing alcohol with medication. Alcohol can affect how your medications work and can lead to serious health consequences.
The Bottom Line
The last thing you want to deal with this winter is recovering from a fall! By following our tips above and seeking additional advice from our team, set yourself up for a safer season ahead.