Senior Care

Fall Prevention For Seniors

The Centre For Disease Control and Prevention out of the US has published an excellent pamphlet on fall prevention and has cited four basic ways to prevent falls. As well, this excellent checklist has ten questions which are quickly and easy to review, to start to understand your chances of falling and how to prevent it.

1.Speak up. Talk to your doctor or health care providers about falls and get them involved. Ask about your prescriptions and whether they can result in dizziness or possible falls.

2. Keep moving. Exercise is a critical piece of fall prevention. By staying strong, you lessen the chances of falling. Balance is also very important and doing balance exercises helps as well.

3. Get an eye exam. As people age, their vision deteriorates and this can result in balancing and vision issues which can lead to falls. Get an eye exam on a regular basis (yearly) and get your glass prescription updated.

4. Make your home safer. This means getting rid of the clutter and all the various tripping hazards. Install handrails in bathrooms and throughout the house. Eliminate step thresholds into rooms. Lots of things to do here and we can come and do a thorough check of your house to suggest many ideas.

Senior Care

Fall Prevention Tips

Falls are the number one issue with most older adults. Not because of the fall itself, but from all the various complications that result from falls. A big part of our work at HSS Toronto is involved with preventing falls through a number of interventions. Here’s a quick list of possible things to consider if you want to prevent yourself from falling; or, if you want to mitigate the chances of your loved ones from falling.

Review medications and your overall fall risk with your family doctor. Lots of medications can cause dizziness or balance issues. Eye examinations on a regular basis can also be useful so that your eye doctor can advise on needed prescription changes. By just being aware of these causes or modifying behaviour around their use can lessen the chances of a fall.

Exercise for seniors is even more important than for younger folks as it reduces the risk of falls.

Clean up and remove clutter in the house. Sometimes this is as simple as getting rid of piles of stuff near doors or entrances; or moving furniture and tables around so that they are no longer in the way. Tacking down (or removing completely) loose carpets and looking for changes in floor heights from room to room is also very useful.

Exercise. I’m a big proponent of exercise for a number of reasons. Strengthening legs allows for more walking and reduced risk of falling. Balancing exercises ensure better balance overall. Exercise can also reduce fatigue during the day, making falling less of a risk.