Many people think falls are a normal part of aging. The truth is, they’re not. Falls among the elderly are common as 1 in 4 older adults fall every year in the US. Most falls can be prevented and each person has the power to reduce their risk for a fall. Performing strength and balance exercises, managing your medications, having your vision checked and making your living environment safer are all steps you can take to prevent a fall.
Over half of all falls take place at home. To increase safety in your home, fix simple but serious hazards such as clutter, throw rugs and poor lighting. Other simple home modifications to help increase safety include adding grab bars in the bathroom, a second handrail on stairs, and non-slip paint on outdoor steps.
Taking multiple medications may also increase your risk of falling. Medications can affect people in different ways and can sometimes make you dizzy or sleepy. Talk to your health care provider about potential side effects or interactions with your medications.
Mobility and strength can be regained as you age and therapy can help. You can lose muscle as you age, but exercise can restore strength and flexibility. It’s never too late to start an exercise program. Hegg Health Center offers physical therapy to help with balance and a wellness center to help you continue with your exercise program. Stay safe this fall and don’t fall!