Falls can be caused by many different things — trips, slips, becoming unbalanced, dehydration, poor eyesight, sore feet, and even the medications you take for various conditions.
While many seniors understandably worry about having a fall, the good news is there is a lot you can do to prevent falls.
In Western Australia the State Government runs a program especially for seniors called Stay on Your Feet. They have a lot of information and resources on their website to help anyone interested in preventing falls.
Here are some of the things they recommend you do to reduce your risk.
Make your home safer
Many falls happen in the home. Here are some simple things you can do: to make your home safer:
- Ensure floor coverings are non-slip and in good condition, and fix any uneven surfaces
- Ensure all areas are well-lit and light switches are easy to find
- Fit sturdy rails and ramps where needed (Chorus can help you with this)
- Keep walkways and floors free of potential trip hazards
- Ensure you’re wearing well-fitting and sturdy shoes.
Make your body stronger
One of the best ways to avoid falls is to improve your strength and balance, as this helps you react safely.
- Do exercises daily for 30 minutes to strengthen your leg muscles and improve balance (you don’t have to do a full Jane Fonda workout video. There are some fairly simple exercises that can help)
- Make sure you’re eating well (your body needs fuel to stay strong)
- Get plenty of calcium and vitamin D (to keep your bones strong) and drink plenty of water
- Pay attention to the side effects of any medications you’re taking and talk to your doctor about any that may increase your risk of a fall.
Keep on top of potential risk-increasing factors
There are also plenty of things that can increase your risk of a fall that are good to keep in mind. For example:
- Are you taking three or more medicines?
- Do you have Parkinson’s, diabetes, or arthritis?
- Do you have heart or circulation problems?
- Have you been experiencing dizzy spells, blurred vision or unsteadiness?
- Do you find it difficult to get up from a chair or to walk around?
If any of the above questions describes you, either now or in the future, then you’re at increased risk of a fall.
What can I do to reduce the risk of a fall?
If you’re a Chorus customer you can get rails and ramps installed and lots of simple home maintenance done through your Home Care Package. Talk to us about what you need. We’re here to help.
You can also get more information and resources about preventing falls from the Stay on Your Feet website, including strengthening and balance exercises checklists, videos and where you can get help and information in your local community.