Did you know that more than 1.6 million Canadian seniors fall each year?
Falls remain the number one cause of serious injuries in people aged 65 and over.
According to WHO, “Falls may also result in a post-fall syndrome that includes dependence, loss of autonomy, confusion, immobilization and depression, which will lead to a further restriction in daily activities.” If you have an aging family member or friend, it’s important to encourage an active and healthy lifestyle to allow them to maintain independence for as long as possible.
Here are eight expert tips for preventing falls, whether at home or on the go:
1. Maintain Daily Movement
“The number one way to prevent falls is to keep moving, focusing on exercises that improve balance and flexibility. Exercise of any kind helps reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis and most importantly, reduces your chances of falling,” says Dr. Natasha Speedie, Chiropractor at the Oakville, Milton and Georgetown Hospital. Those who keep active are far more likely to be able to maintain their balance and catch themselves when they stumble, due to flexible joints, ligaments and tendons. Time to lace up those sneakers and hit the trail!
2. Reduce Household Hazards
Take a good look around the household, is there anything obvious that could cause trips or falls? A flimsy rug that often gets in the way? Any piece of furniture that is no longer serving you? Time to get rid of it. As most falls occur within the home, it’s important the household is clutter free and as accessible as possible.
3. Be Cautious of the Bathroom
One of the most dangerous spots within the home for slips and falls is the bathroom. With wet surfaces and slipper tubs, it’s important to take extra care in this space. Ensure there are non-slip mats directly inside and outside the shower for extra grip. For those who need an extra helping hand, why not look into grab bars, which can be professionally installed next to the toilet or inside the shower for peace of mind.
4. Make Daily Items Accessible
“While keeping areas clean and clutter free is important, people often overlook keeping the daily essentials within reach,” says Speedie. Avoid having to use step stools and ensure that all daily use items are placed in lower-level cabinets or placed at counter height for easy access.
5. Wear Secure, Sensible Shoes
Proper foot care should always be a priority, but especially with age. High heels, flip flops or loose-fitting shoes can cause major problems for your feet and could lead to potential falls. Find a pair of rubber soled sneakers, preferably those that are non-skid and with arch support to keep you moving in comfort! There are plenty of fashionable styles available today and proper footwear largely increases the chances of staying on two feet.
6. Ask for Help When Needed
Never be afraid to ask for help when you need it. There is no reason to be out in a snowstorm clearing the driveway! With plenty of options available, reach out to access services that will help make your life easier––like snow removal, grocery delivery, leaf collection or even programs to help you find a walking buddy.
7. Put Dangerous Objects Away
When working away in the garden or yard, it can be easy to forget a shovel or rake that’s been left on the ground. One easy way to prevent trips and falls is to always put away tools as soon as you’re done using them––especially garden hoses or electrical cords which can easily blend into the grass.
8. Wear Single Prescription Eyeglasses Outdoors
Eyesight can often be associated with dangerous falls, so it’s important to keep yours in tip top shape. One frequent complaint is that bifocals and trifocals can make it difficult to climb stairs or manage curbs, as it slightly distorts your vision. Ask your doctor to prescribe a single prescription for eyeglasses that can be worn while outdoors and navigating busy roadways or trails.
Did you know that the regular Foot Care Visits can help reduce hospitalization and emergency room visits that occur from falls? From getting an assessment from a Chiropodist to choosing the right orthotics is an essential way to help you keep your feet healthy.
Reach out today to learn more about foot care health at 905.618.0162 or 905.338.4669 email@example.com.