This year, September 18 - 22 is National Fall Prevention Awareness Week. Falls remain one of the most serious issues for seniors, leading to numerous serious injuries and even deaths every year. In addition, falls can lead to a loss of independence, mobility, and confidence that can cause seniors to limit their activity, leading to social isolation and a decreased sense of well-being. Thankfully, seniors can take action now to prevent falls and stay healthy as they age.
Risk Factors for Falling
Understanding the risk factors for falls is the first step in preventing them. Here are some common risk factors for falls among seniors:
- Muscle Weakness: As we age, our muscles tend to weaken, which can affect balance and stability.
- Medications: Certain medications, or the combination of multiple medications, can lead to dizziness or unsteadiness.
- Vision Changes: Age-related vision changes can make it harder to detect obstacles and hazards.
- Chronic Health Conditions: Conditions like diabetes, arthritis, and Parkinson's disease can affect mobility and balance.
- Environmental Hazards: Cluttered living spaces, loose rugs, and poor lighting are common hazards in the home that can contribute to falls.
- Lack of Physical Activity: A sedentary lifestyle can lead to decreased strength and balance.
Thankfully, many of these risk factors can be mitigated with lifestyle changes:
- Stay Active: Engage in regular physical activity that includes strength and balance exercises.
- Review Medications: Consult your healthcare provider to review your medications and discuss potential side effects that may affect your balance.
- Regular Vision Checkups: Visit your eye doctor for regular checkups and ensure you have the appropriate prescription glasses or contact lenses.
- Modify Your Living Space: Remove tripping hazards, install handrails and grab bars, improve lighting, and secure rugs to prevent slips and falls in your home.
- Footwear Matters: Wear supportive, non-slip footwear both indoors and outdoors.
- Stay Hydrated and Nourished: Proper nutrition and hydration are essential for maintaining strength and overall health.
- Use Mobility Aids: If necessary, don't hesitate to use mobility aids like canes or walkers for added stability.
- Regular Checkups: Schedule regular checkups with your healthcare provider to monitor your overall health and address any concerns promptly.
- Stay Social: Maintain an active social life to combat isolation and depression, which can contribute to falls.
- Seek Professional Help: If you've already experienced a fall or feel unsteady on your feet, consider seeking help from a physical therapist or occupational therapist for personalized guidance.
At Brightview Senior Living, our holistic approach to senior living addresses all elements of senior wellness. Through healthy, delicious meals, engaging daily events, and custom SPICE in Motion fitness classes, we help seniors stay as independent, healthy, and mobile as possible. For more information, contact your Brightview community of interest.
Brightview Senior Living builds, owns, and operates award-winning vibrant senior living communities in eight states along the East Coast: Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia. We offer senior Independent Living, Assisted Living, Enhanced Care, and Wellspring Village®, a specialized neighborhood for people living with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Schedule a personal visit to experience our communities firsthand.