Particularly for older adults, a fall can result in a fractured bone(s). At the very least, falling will cause some jarring of the body and may require minor rehabilitative measures, so knowing how to prevent a fall is quite important. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 2.5 million older people receive treatment in emergency departments due to a fall. Fortunately, falls do not have to be an assured part of aging.
Many falls can actually be prevented.
Some of the reasons older people fall are obvious: tripping, slow reflexes, and poor vision. But did you know that some medicines can actually increase the risk of a fall due to dizziness, confusion, or slowed reaction time? There are a few simple steps that can help prevent falls among older adults—with the greatest emphasis in the home.
- Consult your doctor. List the medications you take, detail if you’ve fallen before (and how), and prepare to talk about your health conditions. This conversation with your doctor can significantly help.
- Get up and exercise. No exercise leads to weakened legs, which increases the chances of a fall. Tai Chi, yoga, and other exercise programs can strengthen your body and improve balance.
- Maintain sharp vision. Naturally, poor eyesight makes it more difficult to move around safely. Older adults should get yearly vision checks and wear contacts or glasses that have the right prescription strength.
- Fall-Proof Your Home. Approximately half of falls occur in the home. It’s essential that you identify potential fall hazards that need to be changed or even removed.
Checklist for Removing Hazards to Help Prevent Falls in the Home
Check all of the rooms and stairways at home and do the following:
- Remove boxes, papers, cords, and other obstructions from walkways.
- Move furniture and other items from high-foot-traffic areas.
- Use double-faced tape or slip-resistant backing to secure loose rugs.
- Repair compromised wooden floorboards or carpeting.
- Place all necessities—clothing, food, etc.—within easy reach.
- Use nonslip mats in bathtubs and showers.
If You’ve Had Medical Care for a Fall but are Still Experiencing Pain
If you’ve fallen and received professional medical care but are still experiencing pain, we encourage you to visit Dynamic Health and Pain Management at 5215 South Boulevard, Charlotte, North Carolina. Our staff of highly trained health professionals collaborate to offer a multidisciplinary approach to pain relief.