A simple fall can change your life forever, especially if you are over 60. Thousands of elderly Americans fall annually – causing broken bones, sprains, and strains.
For an older person, a broken bone can cause awful long-term disability, chronic pain, and a myriad of other physical and psychological problems. More than a quarter of all Americans age 60 or older fall every year – that is a staggering figure!
The majority of those falls occur in the home and are easily preventable. Follow these five steps below to reduce your risk of falling at home:
1. Get Rid Of Clutter
Clutter is the enemy of safety in the home. All loose cords, boxes, and magazines must get removed from walkways to keep the area safe. Keep the high-traffic areas of your home clear of clutter.
If your home has a staircase, always ensure it is kept clean and clear – that means no shoes, clothing, or bags hanging around. Keep all your items packed away where they belong as these can instantly become a tripping hazard.
2. Wear Non-Slip Shoes
For seniors and anybody who falls often, non-slip shoes are the way forward. The thick soles of sneakers or trainers can cause unnecessary falls, especially if you’re walking on an uneven or slippery surface, such as in your new bathroom.
Many studies have shown that wearing socks or slippers is associated with an increased risk of falling; especially indoor falls when the floor is smooth or tiled.
3. Install Safety Rails
Ensure that you understand the differences between a handrail vs stair railing, both have an equal part to play in fall prevention at home. Mounted handrails are perfect for floating stairs and high-traffic areas that you use frequently like the kitchen and bathroom.
A stair railing acts as a barrier to prevent people from falling off the side of a staircase. Have someone come to professionally inspect yours and ensure that it is still safe to use, if it’s not then you need to replace it as a matter of urgency.
4. Learn Mindfulness In Movement
One of the most important things to learn to prevent falls is mindfulness. People often ignore their body’s warning signs and tend to push through things like light-headedness and vertigo, both of which are side effects of a lot of chronic medication and are also often found among the elderly.
Pay attention to your body and learn the art of mindfulness in motion. If your hip or knee hurts, understand that you need to move slower to avoid falling or stumbling.
Try to only focus on your movement and don’t allow yourself to be distracted when moving from one place to the next.
5. Improve Balance
Many activities focus on improving balance and core strength; these are great for reducing your risk of taking a tumble. Falls often occur due to a lack of both elements, so the stronger you can get – the less likely you are to fall, even if you stumble.
Yoga is a fantastic exercise for improving muscle tone and core strength. Don’t worry if you are a beginner because there are multiple poses that slowly introduce you to the world of yoga.
By spending just 20 minutes a day doing yoga, you will see an improvement in just a few short months. If people follow the above tips, they will reduce your chances of falling and hurting yourself, or worse!