Prevention Exercise & Activities
When seniors engage in certain prevention exercises and activities, they likely decrease their risk of falling. Increasing strength, flexibility, and balance likely helps seniors improve stability and walking. Consider Tai Chi or yoga, popular activities that do not require difficult, painful movements that sometimes lead to seniors avoiding regular exercise. Enjoy bicycling and reduce your risk of falling while increasing the strength in your legs. While seniors often fear falling, failing to engage in regular exercise and activities potentially results in further physical decline, social isolation, feelings of helplessness and depression among seniors, explains the National Council on Aging.
Prevention Checklists & Risk Assessments
Seniors can take a number of precautions to prevent falls:
- Exercise regularly: Do exercises that will increase leg strength, improve balance and increase flexibility. Consider Tai Chi, yoga, and bicycling.
- Review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist. You'll want to reduce or eliminate those that cause dizziness or drowsiness.
- Lower your hip fracture risk by getting daily-recommended levels of calcium and vitamin D. and get screened and treated for osteoporosis.
- Move furniture that's in your way. Use double-sided tape so throw rugs won't slip.
- Pick up items that are on the floor. Coil telephone and electrical wires next to the wall.
- Keep items off the stairs. Fix loose or uneven steps.
- Make sure your stairway is lighted and have switches at the top and bottom of the stairs.
- Make sure stair carpeting is secure.
- Make sure stair handrails are secure and that they're on both sides the entire length of the stairs.
- Consider a walk in tub to ensure easy entrance and exit.
- When using a ladder, make sure both feet and at least one hand are on the ladder.
- Consider buying an alarm you can activate in the event of a fall.
- Get up slowly when lying down or sitting, making sure that your path is free from clutter and obstacles.
- Make sure items in the kitchen are within reach. Do you use a step stool in the kitchen? Make sure it is stable before each use.
- Place a non-slip mat or strips inside your shower or bathtub to help prevent falls. Installing grab bars further decreases the risk of falling.
- Use a night light in your bedroom. Make sure there is enough light for you to see inside the bedroom and along the way to the bathroom and kitchen.
- Do you have throw rugs or loose carpeting? Secure the loose carpeting and use double-sided tape on rugs so that they do not slip.
- See an optometrist or ophthalmologist at least annually to make sure that you do not have vision issues that increase your risk of falling.