Each year, it is estimated that 1 out of 3 seniors will have a fall and about half of these people will sustain an injury. As much as 40 % of these injuries are a broken hip which means time in the hospital. Very often, these seniors are not capable of returning home or living independently again. Sadly, 25% of seniors who have fallen will die.
But…there is a lot you can do to prevent falls and it is worth it!
There are 3 components to successfully preventing falls:
1. Understand what puts you at risk to fall
Talk to a health care professional, such as your doctor, to see if you have any of these risk factors and what you can do to modify them to reduce your risk of falling.
- certain medications
- reduced vision
- blood pressure problems
- decreased sensation
- poor nutrition
2. Physical Activity
One of the best ways you can prevent yourself from falling is by doing appropriate physical activity every day! Your physiotherapist can assess your physical abilities and get you started on the right exercises. Safe exercises that improve your balance, flexibility and strength have significant impact on reducing your risk of falling.
3. Home and Environmental Modification
Most falls happen at home in the bathroom, kitchen or on the stairs. Here are a few tips to make your home safer.
- remove clutter that you could trip over, including throw rugs
- improve lighting in your home
- install grab bars next to your toilet, tub, and shower
- use non slip surfaces