Watch Out for Fall Risks!
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 4 Americans age 65 or older fall each year. Falls can be serious and costly, resulting in broken bones, hospitalization, head injury, and expensive medical bills. You can prevent falls with simple, easy actions.
Conditions that put you at a higher risk for falling include lower body weakness, vision problems, low vitamin D, and difficulties with walking and balance. Medications that increase your risk of falling include medications that affect the brain, medications that affect blood pressure, and medications that lower blood sugar.
The good thing is, there are many things you can do to help decrease your risk of falling:
- Get a yearly eye exam to have your eyes tested. Vision issues contribute to lots of falls and can be easily prevented.
- Get your feet checked regularly. Talk to your doctor if you have lost feeling in your feet and make sure to wear proper footwear.
- Ask your health care provider or pharmacist to review your medications to see if any of them could be contributing to your falls or unsteadiness.
- Exercises like tai chi or yoga can improve balance and make your legs stronger. Talk to your doctor about exercises you can do at home or call KelseyCare Advantage to find out about the Silver Sneakers program.
- Make your home safer by having adequate lighting. Declutter the hallways of items that can cause you to trip such as cables, rugs and shoes. Use non-slip mats and grab bars in the bathroom.
Take charge of your health and take these steps to help decrease your risk of falling. Tell your doctor right away if you fall, worry about falling, or feel unsteady.