Learn Not To Fall

Canes, walkers and wheelchairs can actually be fall hazards.

This is particularly true if these assistive devices are not in good repair or are ill-fitting. Ask your therapist or medical equipment professional how to get a periodic ‘tune up’ of your assistive devices. You might also like them to give you some instruction on the best way to use these devices for transfers, and in other situations where the risk of falling is greatest.

Drinking plenty of fluids and staying hydrated can reduce the risk of falling.

Be sure to drink water throughout the day. Because rushing to the bathroom can also cause falls, many seniors also find it a good idea to use the toilet on a regular basis, perhaps every few hours, even before they feel the ‘urge’.

Having your vision checked can help prevent falls.

Since we use our vision to help maintain balance and to move around safely. If it’s been awhile since you visited the eye doctor, then schedule an appointment.

Sitting up or standing too quickly can lead to a fall.

You can feel dizzy or lightheaded, particularly if you are taking some medicine for high blood pressure. To help prevent this from happening, be sure to:

  • Stand up slowly when getting up from a seated position.
  • Get up slowly when getting out of bed in the morning. Dangle your legs over the side of the bed for a few moments before standing up.

The average senior takes 9 medications a day - 6 prescription medicines and 3 'over-the-counter'.

Research shows that seniors taking more than 4 medications daily are at a higher risk for falls.

The best time to get a ‘medication checkup’ is before you start a new prescription.

That way, you’ll know if the new medicine could create any additional interactions or risks that could lead to falling. The best person to do the checkup is your primary care physician, or your pharmacist if you get your prescriptions filled at the same place.

The more you sit, the greater your risk of falling.

Inactivity can lead to a loss of balance and fitness which can contribute to falls.

Walking and talking can lead to falls.

As we get older, it takes all our concentration to move around safely, and research has shown that distractions like talking make walking far more difficult to do.

You should be able to see the benefits of increased activity within just a few weeks after starting.

As your strength, balance and overall outlook begin to steadily improve. Remember, it’s vitally important to start exercising within your ability to succeed. Start slow! Seeing early results also reinforces your enthusiasm for exercise and gives you the confidence you need to continue to stay active and avoid falls.