Statistics prove that one in every three individuals aged 65+ fall each year. Subsequently falls put us at risk of injury – sometimes even serious. Furthermore, falls are costly in both dollars and quality of life. The topic of fall prevention is important.
As an individual ages, physical changes and health conditions make falls more likely. However, falling is not a tangible part of aging. Lifestyle changes, community partnerships and family support the number of falls are reduced. Furthermore, the risk of falling should not rule our life.
An individual should consider and practice the following fall-prevention strategies.
· Medical Management – Speak with a health care specialist regarding medication side effects and interactions with other medications.
· Fallen Before? – Examine the details of previous falls, including when, where and how you fell. Such details assist the medical professional to identify potential dangers.
· Health Conditions May Cause Falls – Certain eye and ear disorders may increase the risk of falls.
· Keep Moving – Physical activity assists in preventing falls. Activity improves strength, balance, coordination and flexibility.
· Wear Sensible Shoes – Consider footwear as fall prevention tactics. High heels, floppy slippers, flip flops and slick soles increase the risk of fall substantially.
· Environment – The environment can also produce hazards of falling. Bathtubs, steps, uneven or cracked sidewalks produce uncontrollable hazards of falling. Prevention and activity assist an individual to feel safer and less at risk of falling.
Speaking to the Area Agency on Aging personnel, community leaders, healthcare professions and Ombudsman can provide information to assist individuals in risk assessment for falls. For more information on long term care or to enquire about the Ombudsman program call or email Gail Wilcox, Ombudsman Supervisor, SWODA Area Agency on Aging at 580-562-4882.
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