As we get older, our reflexes, balance, eyesight, hearing and more may not be as strong as it once was, which increases our risk of unexpected falls. More than 1 in 3 adults ages 65 and older fall each year. A startling fall is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about. We encourage you to turn those negative feelings into action and check out the tips below that may be able to help you or a loved one avoid falling in the future.
1. Fall-Proof Your Home
From maintaining a clean home so miscellaneous objects aren’t in your path, to securing loose rugs and putting grippy bathmats in your bathtub or shower, there are many ways you can protect yourself by making simple adjustments around the house. The National Institute on Aging recommends small changes you can make in every room of your home, including your stairways/hallways/pathways, bathrooms, bedroom, and other living areas. Although they may seem minor, these updates can make a big difference and go a long way in keeping you safe from falling.
2. Stay Physically Active
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Health.gov recommends adults age 65 and older get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise (such as brisk walking), and at least 2 days a week of activities that strengthen your muscles and improve balance.
You can stay active at home by doing a variety of tasks, including:
- Walking around the neighborhood
- At home workouts – Get specific exercise recommendations.
- Cooking or baking new recipes
- Daily chores
Remember to always talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine. They will know which activities are best for you based on your personal health history.
3. Talk to Your Doctor
Have you experienced a fall? Make sure you tell your doctor. They will be able to review your medications and identify any side effects that you may be experiencing. Bring all your medications to your next visit so you can discuss them and ensure nothing you are taking is increasing your likelihood of falling.
Your doctor can also examine your overall health and ensure you have the right tools to keep you safe. Common recommendations include seeing a physical therapist or specific exercises that can strengthen your muscles / balance. Communication is key, and you are your own best advocate for your health.
Need Help Scheduling an Appointment?
If you are a member of Arizona Care Network, you can contact our concierge by calling 602.406.7226 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Our team is part of your healthcare team, and we are here 24/7 to connect you to the resources you need.