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Fall prevention may not seem like a topic that is exciting, but it is significant. As you get older, physical changes often occur — and sometimes the medications used to treat those conditions — make falls more likely. In fact, falls are a leading cause of injury among elderly adults. Nevertheless, fear of falling does not need to rule your life. Instead, consider six straightforward fall-prevention strategies.
- Make a consultation with your doctor
Begin your fall-prevention strategy by making an appointment with your doctor. Be ready to answer questions for example:
- What medicines are you currently taking? Create an inventory of your prescription and over-the-counter medicines and supplements, or bring them with you to the appointment. Your physician can review your medications for side effects and interactions that may raise your danger of falling. To help with fall prevention, your physician may consider weaning you off certain medications — such as some types of antidepressants and sedatives.
- Have you fallen? Write the details, including when, where and the way you fell down. Be prepared to discuss cases although you almost fell but were caught by someone or managed to catch hold of something in time. Details like these may help your doctor identify particular fall-prevention strategies.
- Could your health conditions cause? Your own risk of falls may improve. Be ready to go over your health conditions and how comfortable you are when you walk — for example, does one feel any dizziness, joint pain, numbness or shortness of breath when you walk? Your doctor may evaluate your muscle strength, balance and walking style (gait) as well.
- Keep moving? Your risk of falls may improve. Be ready to go over your health conditions and how comfortable you are when you walk — for example, does one feel any dizziness, joint pain, numbness or shortness of breath when you walk?
- Have you fallen? Write the details, including when, where and the way you fell down. Be ready to discuss cases although someone almost fell but captured you or managed to catch hold of something just in time. Details like these may help your doctor identify certain fall-prevention strategies.
Physical action can go a long way toward fall prevention. With your doctor’s OK, consider actions for example walking, water workouts or tai chi — a mild exercise that includes slow and graceful dance-like moves. Such actions reduce the danger of falls by improving coordination, balance, strength and flexibility.
Tell your physician in the event you prevent physical activity because you are afraid it is going to produce a drop more likely. He may refer you to a physical therapist who might recommend exercise programs that are carefully monitored. The physical therapist can cause a custom exercise program aimed at enhancing your balance, flexibility, muscle strength and gait.
- Consider changing your footwear within your fall-prevention strategy. Instead wear properly fitting, sturdy shoes with nonskid soles.
- Remove Obstacles – Take a peek around your residence. Kitchen, your living room, bedroom, toilet, halls and stairways may be full of perils. To help make your house safer:
- Remove phone cords and cartons, newspapers, electrical cords from walks.
- Move coffee tables, magazine racks and plant stands from high-traffic places.
- Fix loose carpets with double-faced tape, tacks or a slip-resistant backing — or remove loose rugs from your own home.
- Repair loose, wooden floorboards and carpeting straight away.
- Store clothing, dishes, food along with other necessities within easy reach.
Clean spilled food, grease or liquids.
- Keep your house brightly lit to avoid tripping on things which are difficult to see, and also:
- Place night lights in hallways, bathroom and your bedroom.
- Place a lamp within reach of your bed for middle-of-the-night demands.
- Make clear paths to light switches which aren’t near room entrances. Consider trading traditional switches for glow-in-the-dark or illuminated switches.
- Store flashlights in easy-to-find places in case of power outages.
- Use assistive devices – Your doctor might recommend using a cane or walker to help keep you steady. Other assistive devices can help, also. For example:
- Nonslip treads for bare-wood steps
- A toilet with a raised toilet seat
- Grab bars for the shower or tub
- A sturdy plastic seat for the bath or shower — plus a hand-held shower nozzle for bathing while sitting down.
Your doctor may be able to assist you brainstorm other fall -prevention strategies. Some options are often installed and relatively cheap. Others may need a larger investment or professional help. Remember an investment in fall prevention is an investment in your independence!