Slipping and falling is no fun for anyone, but it can be especially devastating for seniors. Falls account for 25% of all hospital admissions and 40% of nursing home admissions. It’s no wonder then that so many seniors have a fear of falling!
The good news is there are plenty of things you can do to ease your fear. With these 5 tips, you can ensure that you or a loved one is able to live comfortably in their home for many years to come.
- Prevent falls from happening in the first place
The first step in fall prevention is to make sure that you modify your home so that falls are less likely to occur. A few easy fixes you can do around the house include:
- Use non-slip strips and stickers
- Install handrails
- Wear shoes or slippers with non-skid soles
Every house and everybody is a little bit different, so take the time to research all the ways you can increase safety at home for your favorite senior.
- Stay active
Changes to your home are perhaps the easiest way to prevent a fall, but they aren’t necessarily the best way. No matter how old you are, staying active is the most effective way to reduce your chances of a potentially fatal fall.
Unfortunately, most seniors with a fear of falling do the opposite. After all, it makes sense that if you don’t want to fall, you shouldn’t give yourself opportunities to do it in the first place! That means many seniors spend the majority of their time in the living room, rarely making trips outside the home. The trouble is, this level of inactivity will exacerbate the problem when and if you do finally fall.
Keep your bones and muscles strong with regular physical activity. It doesn’t have to be strenuous. Walking, stretching, and water aerobics are all great ways to get a little exercise. With regular activity, you can greatly decrease your recovery time after a fall.
- Schedule an appointment with your doctor
It’s possible that you’re worrying about the complications of a fall for no reason. By scheduling an appointment with your doctor, he can assess your overall physical health and let you know just how at risk you really are.
You can also discuss any past falls with your doctor. By discussing your concerns, your physician may be able to provide you with personalized solutions. Physical therapists can be extremely helpful, as they can assist you with your gait, balance, and strength. Occupational therapists may be recommended because they can suggest changes to your home that you may not have thought of.
- Leave a past fall behind you
Often, those with the greatest fear of falling are also those who have fallen in the past. But, it’s important to remember that just because you’ve fallen in the past doesn’t mean that you’re fated to fall again in the future. This is especially true if you’ve followed all of the tips on this list!
- Consider a medical alert system
If you do fall, getting help right away can increase your chances of remaining independent by 80%. Unfortunately, someone isn’t always going to be around to help. A medical alert system can ensure you get the help you need, but it can also provide you with peace of mind. Just knowing that help is available at the touch of a button is sure to reduce your anxiety of falling in the first place.
Don’t let a fear of falling rule your life! You can be active and independent for many years to come, so long as you aren’t afraid to make changes to yourself and your environment.