Aging Well: Top 5 Tips for Fall Prevention
Falls are the leading cause of injury in older adults, accounting for 90% of hip fractures¹ and 51% of brain injuries². Falls also diminish independence and overall quality of life. However, falls are not a normal part of aging. In fact, most falls are preventable.
You can reduce your risk of falls and injury by following these tips.
1. Stay active!
Regular exercise is essential to keeping your body strong and reducing age- related health problems. Use the CDC’s activity guidelines as a goal.
Strive for 30 minutes per day of moderate intensity exercise. Get motivated by walking with a friend or using a step counter. Water aerobics is a great alternative to get your heart pumping.
Target two strength training sessions per week. Hit the gym or join an exercise class that challenges your large muscle groups.
Add in three balance sessions per week. Stick with a few simple exercises to do at your kitchen counter or better yet, join a Tai Chi class.
2. Vision and hearing
Make sure you are up to date on your hearing and vision checks. Your hearing and vision, along with your vestibular system account for an important piece when it comes to balance.
Regularly review your medications with your doctor. Medications can have side effects like dizziness and drowsiness, which can significantly impact your fall risk.
4. Home Safety
Most falls occur at home. Use a home safety checklist to reduce hazards in your home. Keep pathways clear, eliminate loose rugs, optimize lighting, and install grab bars as needed.
5. Assistive Devices
Assistive devices should be viewed as tools that make life easier, safer, and more convenient. A cane, walker, or rollator, can improve your balance and increase your independence. If you need one, don’t be afraid to use one!
Most importantly, don’t let the fear of falling limit your activity. The less active you are, the weaker and more frail you will become. Find activities that are appropriate for your level and if you need help getting started, reach out to a professional.
Any age is the right age to exercise! Make your health a priority.
Parkkari, Jari, et al. "Majority of hip fractures occur as a result of a fall and impact on the greater trochanter of the femur: a prospective controlled hip fracture study with 206 consecutive patients." Calcified tissue international 65.3 (1999): 183-187.
Thompson, Hilaire J., Wayne C. McCormick, and Sarah H. Kagan. "Traumatic brain injury in older adults: epidemiology, outcomes, and future implications." Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 54.10 (2006): 1590-1595.