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Best Tips and Strategies for Seniors to Prevent Falling

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About one out of every four people over the age of 65, and nearly half of people over the age of 80, fall each year. You should have a plan in place to get help if you take a serious fall and become injured, but the best plans start with strategies for preventing falls in the first place. With one of our fall monitoring systems, you’ll know that help can respond quickly, but we also wanted to share our best tips for seniors to reduce the risk of falling.

1. Maintain and Evaluate Your Personal Health.

  • Exercise and maintain an active lifestyle as much as you can. Even gentle exercises can improve balance and flexibility.
  • Get a regular eye exam. The more things you see coming, the easier it is to avoid tripping hazards.
  • Get your hearing checked, too. Sounds also provide important cues that help us avoid oncoming hazards.
  • Tell your doctor if you experience dizziness, joint or muscle pain, numbness, weakness, shortness of breath, or other symptoms. If you’re currently taking medications, ask if any of your current symptoms may be a side effect of the medication.

2. Make Smart Choices for Footwear and Other Accessories.

  • Wear supportive, comfortable, and slip-resistant shoes. Low-heeled and lace-up shoes are often good choices.   
  • If you sometimes struggle with strength, balance, or posture, consider the use of a cane or walker.
  • Avoid the temptation to walk around in socks.

3. Create an Environment without Falling Hazards.

  • Keep floors as clutter-free as possible, especially in highly trafficked areas of your living space. Remove loose rugs. Fix carpet that bunches up.
  • Install handrails, grab bars, raised toilet seats, and nonslip steps and showers.
  • Make sure your home has adequate lighting any time of day with lighting fixtures, night lights, and flashlights.
  • Stay organized and eliminate home storage items that aren’t easy to get to.

Are you also looking for tips to communicate these strategies to a loved one? We recommend checking out this fall prevention advice from the National Council on Aging.

Reducing the Impact of Falls Starts with Rapid Detection

Woman Wearing Alert1 Fall Detection Button
We don’t choose when we fall or where we land. If we could, none of us would fall in the first place. For those of us who do fall and get injured, it doesn’t have to feel like a personal failing. Even people who follow every tip and strategy may still end up falling. It’s impossible to completely eliminate the risk of falling—especially without unduly infringing upon a person’s daily activities. Moreover, the fear of falling in older adults can be its own health hazard that threatens our independence and life enjoyment.

 

At any age, life inherently involves a certain amount of risk. The best that can be done is to minimize the risk of falling and have the resources in place to respond to a serious fall. Our fall detection and medical alert systems offer real-time detection for most incidents, especially more serious falls. If you are injured but the fall was not automatically detected, you can also press the help button. This will connect you with our 24/7 Command Center who will send help and stay on the line until help arrives.

More Information and Resources

One of the best places to turn for more information is your doctor. It’s always a good idea to tell your doctor about falls you’ve had since your last visit. A physician and/or physical therapist can help you identify and mitigate specific kinds of falling risks. Maybe your vision has deteriorated and is contributing to your fall risk. A doctor can offer a better explanation about why it’s time to start using a cane or walker—before your independent lifestyle is truly threatened by the next fall. Along with face-to-face sessions, a physical therapist can offer personalized recommendations to improve your strength and balance. For more general information, both seniors and their caregivers can find brochures, fact sheets, and graphics with health information about falling from the CDC.

 

If you haven’t already, get a medical alert system with fall detection from Alert1.