For younger people, a fall may merely be embarrassing or result in bruises and stiff muscles. For people over the age of 65, falls can result in life-threatening injuries.
These tips can help you prevent falls as you get older.
Know your risk factors
Many factors can contribute to an increased risk of falling in older people:
- Weak muscles
- Low blood pressure
- Balance problems
- Unsafe footwear
- Foot pain
Additionally, medications can cause side effects, such as dizziness, reduced alertness and slower reaction times, that can lead to a fall.
Reduce your fall risk
Whatever your risk level for falling is, you can take steps to reduce it. First, engage in regular physical activity. Regular exercise can strengthen muscles and improve joint, tendon and ligament flexibility. Weight-bearing exercise may also help avoid osteoporosis, which can lead to increased occurrences of fractures.
Make sure you are aware of medication side effects that could cause a fall. If a medication makes you dizzy or confused, talk to your doctor. Avoid standing up too quickly. Changing positions too fast causes low blood pressure in some people, which can lead to a loss of balance or even a blackout.
Avoid walking on wet or icy surfaces when you can. Spread sand on slippery surfaces around your home to provide traction. Get your hearing and eyesight checked. Be careful while you are adjusting to a new pair of corrective lenses.
The likelihood of sustaining serious injuries because of a fall increases with age. However, by taking steps to reduce your risk, you can continue to safely enjoy your active lifestyle.