Falls are a serious health risk, and unfortunately, senior falling is all too common due to physical changes, certain health conditions, and medication side effects. However, with just a few precautionary measures, preventing falls in the elderly doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Check out these 10 ways to lower your risk of senior falling.
Preventing falls in seniors starts at the doctor’s office
The first line of defense is your doctor. Your healthcare provider can help determine your risk level for senior falling based on your health conditions, medications, and history of injuries. For example, if you are noticing side effects like dizziness or drowsiness from a new medication, your doctor may switch your prescription. Or if you have joint pain or muscle weakness from a medical condition, your doctor may be able to recommend physical therapy or exercises to help strengthen your muscles.
There are a lot of medical conditions that can increase your risk of a fall, so preventing falls in elderly isn’t always straightforward. For example, even incontinence can increase the risk of senior falling if trying to rush to the bathroom. That’s why it’s so important to chat with your doctor about all your medical conditions and concerns, not just the obvious ones.
You should also consider getting your eyes and ears checked. Vision and hearing changes are leading causes of senior falling.
Need a ride to your doctor’s appointment? Catch a safe, convenient ride with GoGoGrandparent. GoGoRides are safe, easy, and affordable. Best yet, our GoGoGuardians vet all drivers for safety and accessibility. GoGo will ensure your driver knows about your accessibility requirements, which helps in preventing falls in seniors. Learn more about how to request a ride on-demand here.
Preventing falls in the elderly at home
A few minor house changes can make your home more accessible, comfortable, and safe. Reduce the risk of senior falling with these home modifications:
- Clear all walkways of cords, boxes, newspapers, etc. Make sure there are at least two feet of walking movement between rooms and in high-traffic areas.
- Hire a housekeeper to clean, organize, and maintain your house regularly, so you don’t fall while trying to clean it yourself. You can hire a professional and vetted housekeeper with GoGoGrandparent. Our home maintenance services let you find high-quality housekeepers and home professionals to keep your home safe and in tip-top shape.
- Move large pieces of furniture like coffee tables and lamps away from high-traffic areas.
- Replace rugs with nonskid carpeting or add slip-resistant backing to your current rugs.
- Repair all loose floorboards and carpeting. Hire a professional through GoGo’s home services to handle these maintenance jobs for you.
- Reorganize your cabinets, drawers, and closets so the most-used items are within reach.
- Use nonslip mats in your bathroom and shower.
- Consider grab bars in the shower and raised toilet seats with armrests so you have somewhere to hold while standing or changing positions.
- Add or fix all handrails on your stairway.
- Consider a chair lift on the stairs.
- Lighten your living spaces with night lights, lamps, and brighter lights. Store flashlights near your bed and in themain living areas in case the power goes out.
Check out our article Home Modifications as You Age for more suggestions for preventing falls in the elderly at home.
Use an assistive device if you need to
A cane or walker can help prevent senior falling. If your doctor has recommended an assistive walking device, make sure you use it consistently. Furthermore, making sure your device is the right size and in good working condition is critical to preventing falls in the elderly.
Regular exercise improves flexibility, balance, and strength. With your doctor’s approval, consider adding some balance and strength training like yoga, tai chi, or mild walking to your daily exercise routine.
Want some ideas on staying active and preventing falls in the elderly? Check out these 10 daily exercises you can do at home.
Choose the right footwear
Wear comfortable, form-fitting shoes that support your feet. We recommend nonskid, rubber-soled shoes that have no or low heels. Getting the right pair of shoes can help in preventing falls in seniors, and it may also improve your muscle health, joint pain, and balance.
Keep your hands free
When you’re out and about, try to keep your hands free so you can hold on to railings or catch yourself if you begin to fall. Carry your items in a shoulder bag, backpack, crossbody purse, or fanny pack. Ask for assistance when carrying lots of bags; a friend or GoGo driver would be happy to help!
You’re more likely to fall if you are tired, so make sure you’re getting enough high-quality sleep. If you’re having trouble sleeping due to a medical condition, chat with your doctor about medications, exercise, diet, and lifestyle changes that can help improve your sleep.
Alcohol causes stumbling, imbalance, and falls (at all ages), so reducing alcohol intake is an important step in preventing falls in seniors.
When you go from a sitting or lying position to a standing one, move slowly and carefully. Blood pressure changes, joint stiffness, and muscle imbalances can make standing up a senior falling risk.
Stay inside in bad weather
Ice, snow, and rain increase the risk of senior falling and injuries. When it’s nasty outside, consider having GoGoGrandparent.do your driving for you:
- GoGo Groceries delivers all your groceries, vitamins, and household supplies right to your door.
- Our GoGoGourmet service can deliver healthy, fresh takeout meals when you’re craving something tasty.
- With GoGo Prescriptions, our drivers can pick up and drop off all the medications you need, so you don’t have to go out in bad weather.
Prevent senior falling
Register for GoGoGrandparent and instantly get access to our rides, home maintenance professionals, and delivery services (groceries, takeout, and prescription), which are all designed to enhance your care plan, which includes preventing falls in seniors.