10 Ways to Prevent Death or Injury from Falling

No one wants to have a hospital stay, much less during a global pandemic. However, one in three older adults will be injured by falling this year, and many of those adults will need to be hospitalized as a result. The good news is that most falls – and resulting injury – can be prevented by employing the following methods:

  1. Get Regular Exercise

Exercising regularly makes you stronger and improves balance and coordination.

  1. Consume Vitamin D & Calcium

You can decrease your risk of fracture by maintaining a diet with adequate Vitamin D and calcium. Assess your diet and any dietary supplements to make sure you are getting enough each day.

  1. Utilize Appropriate Medical Equipment

Medical equipment such as walkers and canes should be properly sized by a qualified professional.

  1. Review All Medicines

Have your doctor or pharmacist look at all your medicines, even over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and supplements. Some medicines or combinations of medicines can make you sleepy or dizzy, and some should not be mixed with others.

  1. Get Your Vision Checked

Visit your eye doctor at least once per year for a check-up. Poor or declining vision increases your risk of falls.

  1. Take it Easy

Get up slowly from a seated or reclined position. Some medicines or conditions (such as low blood pressure) can make you feel lightheaded or dizzy with quick position changes.

  1. Wear Sturdy Footwear

Avoid wearing athletic shoes with thick soles or slippers or around the house. Instead, wear sturdy shoes with non-slip soles.

  1. Be Prepared

Sometimes a fall just is not avoidable. Minimize the emergency and get help quickly by wearing an alarm device that will bring help in case you fall. It is also a good idea to keep important numbers in large print near your phone.

  1. Optimize Your Lighting

It is safest to have uniform lighting in each room. Add lighting to any dark areas, and use brighter bulbs throughout your home. Use lamp shades to reduce glare from light fixtures; hang light-weight curtains to reduce glare from bright windows or doors.

  1. Work with a Physical or Occupational Therapist

Physical and Occupational therapists are trained to prevent falls. These therapists can help you get stronger and improve your balance, coordination, and walking quality. They can also suggest how to reduce the risk of falls by assessing your home and any existing medical equipment.

Lutheran SeniorLife’s therapy team is available to help adults of all ages. Call us at 724-452-3492 (outpatient therapy) or 724-282-6806 (at-home therapy) to learn more.