How Can You Prevent Falls?
Falls can put you at serious risk of injury. Even more so as we age and start to develop osteopenia and osteoporosis. Physical change, loss of balance and medication use can all play a role in causing falls. Consider these six tips when trying to decrease your chance of experiencing a fall:
Incorporate Movement Into Your Day
Physical activity can help you reduce your chances of experiencing a fall. Regular exercises can help to improve your muscle tone and strength, stamina, and balance. Tai Chi is a very gentle form of exercise which may be hugely beneficial to maintaining and improving your balance by improving your coordination and flexibility. If you have not been overly active in the past year or so, or are recovering from an injury, start small and build up your endurance. This will aid in preventing falls.
Wear Appropriate Footwear
Avoid footwear such as high heels and flip-flops. Heels will change your centre of gravity making it easier to fall. Flip flops can easily slip position on your feet or get caught on something, again making it easier to fall. It’s best to choose footwear which fits your properly, is comfortable and has a non-skid/non-slip sole. Wearing proper footwear can also aid in reducing pain and discomfort in joints, such as your knees and lower back.
Set Up An Appointment With Your Family Physician or Pharmacist
If you are taking medication, make sure you are aware of any side effects which may increase your risk of falling. Be sure that you get all of your prescriptions from one location so that your pharmacist can also make you aware of any drug interactions and related side effects.
If you have lots of odds and ends lying around your home, they can be tripping hazards. Ensure that cords and cable are along that walls and not sticking out under a coffee table where you can easily trip. Keep high traffic areas clear. Use nonslip pads in under your rugs.
Brighten Up Your Space
You need to be able to see where you are going! Navigating your way through a dimly lit area may increase your risk of falls. Placing nightlights in your hallway and having a lamp next to your bed can be helpful.
Take Care Of Your Health
Have your eyesight checked on a regular basis. Deterioration in vision can contribute to falls. Monitor your blood pressure. If you are noticing consistently high or low readings, follow up with your family physician. Visit your chiropractor and registered massage therapist to ensure your musculoskeletal system is working properly can help to improve your mobility and flexibility, reducing the risk of falls. If you have fallen or are noticing lightheadedness or loss of balance, talk to your healthcare provider.
Falls can have a huge impact on our health. Following these tips will go a long way in lessening your chances of experiencing a fall.