September 23 is Falls Prevention Awareness Day. Falls can cause serious injury and even early death among older adults. According to the CDC, 1 out of 3 people age 65 and older fall each year. In fact, falls are more common than strokes and can be just as harmful.
Unfortunately, many everyday activities like walking and bathing can pose fall risks for older adults. The good news is that falls are largely preventable. If you know or care for an older adult, here are a few tips to share on fall prevent.
- Exercise regularly. Focus on exercises that improve balance and leg strength. Tai chi is a great option.
- Review medications (both over-the-counter and prescription) with your doctor. Some can make you dizzy, drowsy, and more likely to fall.
- Get your eyes checked each year. Make sure you’re seeing the best you can to avoid falling.
- Keep your home safe. Hazards are everywhere, from wet, slippery bathroom floors to poorly lit hallways. Make your home safer by adding grab bars by the toilet and tub/shower, adding lighting to dark rooms, and removing clutter.
Half of falls happen at home. Here are more ways to ensure that your home is safe.
- Have handrails on both sides of the staircase.
- Place frequently used items in places you can reach without a stepstool.
- Wear shoes inside the home—avoid wearing slippers or going barefoot.
- Remove throw rugs or use tape to make sure they don’t slip.
Preventing falls is important for healthy aging. Take steps toward falls prevention for you and your loved ones.