Fall Prevention Tips for the Elderly
By: Brandi Kinard, PTA
Falls are the number one fatal and nonfatal cause of injury within the age population of 65 years old and older. The most common injuries from falls are fractures and head injuries. A few factors contributing to falls include balance and gait, medications, vision, and the environment.
Here are a few tips to prevent falls:
- Get more exercise. Regular exercise helps to promote strong muscles and reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Focus on strength, balance, and flexibility exercises.
- Sustain a healthy diet. Eating healthy foods can help to keep bones strong. It is also beneficial to have sufficient Vitamin D and Calcium intake. Avoid items such as alcohol and cigarettes, which can decrease bone mass.
- Be mindful of medication side effects. Some medications and instances of being over-medicated can cause dizziness or low blood pressure, placing one at risk of falling.
- Vision plays a large part in balance. Normal eyesight aging results in less light reaching the retina. This makes it more challenging to see obstacles, tripping hazards, and corners of furniture.
- Modify the environment. Remove tripping hazards such as rugs, plants, and any other items that may be sitting on the floor. Use or install handrails for safety along the stairs and in the shower, tub, or surrounding the toilet. Utilize shower chairs as needed. Increase light visibility throughout the home, especially during the darker nighttime hours.