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Screening and Tips for Avoiding Fall Risk

Screening and Tips for Avoiding Fall Risk

Take the Right Steps to Prevent Falls and Injury

The risk of falling increases with age, but maintaining overall health can lower the chances of falling. Use the following tips to prevent falls and avoid serious injury:

 

  • Stay physically active. If you’re not already exercising, ask your doctor to help you create a plan. If exercise is already a way of life, keep it up! Exercise improves muscle strength and keeps those joints and tendons flexible. If tolerable, walk and climb stairs to slow bone loss from osteoporosis. 

  • Get those eyes and ears checked. The slightest changes in your vision and hearing could cause a fall. Give yourself time to adjust to your new corrective lenses, and be sure to wear them as prescribed by your doctor. If a hearing aid is needed, make sure it fits correctly and that you wear it.

  • If you’re taking medications, know the side effects. If medications are causing abnormal drowsiness, let your doctor or pharmacist know.

  • Sleep is important. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Sleepiness increases the risk of falling.

  • Eliminate or reduce how much alcohol you drink. The smallest amount of alcohol can impair your balance. Take greater precautions if you are taking medication.

  • When sitting or lying down for a period, stand up slowly. A drop in blood pressure occurs when getting up too quickly, which might make you feel a little dizzy and unbalanced. It’s always a good idea to have your blood pressure checked regularly.

  • Use assistive devices if you need help feeling stable when walking. Canes and walkers prevent falls. If your doctor recommends the use of an assistive device, make sure it’s the right size and functions well. An occupational or physical therapist can help you choose the right equipment as well as teach safe and proper use.

  • The right footwear is essential. Wear lace-up shoes with nonskid soles and low to no heels. You want full support for your feet. Avoid walking on floors or up and down stairs with socks, slippers, or any shoe with a smooth surface.

  • Keep your doctor informed. If you’ve had a fall or injury after your last checkup, it is important to let your doctor know. This could alert them to new medical problems, an issue with medications, or changes in eyesight. Communicate openly and honestly so your doctor can recommend the proper course of action.