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By Myrah M.
As we age, the risk of falling increases. Falls can lead to serious injuries such as broken bones, head trauma, broken hips, knees and even death. However, there are steps that seniors can take to prevent falls and reduce the associated risks.
First and foremost, it is important to maintain good physical health. Regular exercise, such as walking, cycling, or swimming, can improve balance and strength, making it less likely for a senior to fall. It is also important to maintain a healthy diet, as being overweight or underweight can increase the risk of falling and potential injury from even a minor fall.
Another way to prevent falls is to make sure the home environment is safe. This includes removing any tripping hazards such as rugs or loose wires, making sure that there is adequate lighting, and installing grab bars or handrails in the bathroom and other areas where falls are more likely to occur.
Having regular vision and hearing checkups, as poor vision or hearing is a serious cause of falls and can increase the risk of falling. If a senior needs glasses or hearing aids, it is essential that they use them as prescribed.
Medications can also increase the risk of falling. It is important to inform the doctor of all medications that are being taken, including over-the-counter medications and supplements, as some can cause drowsiness or affect balance. If a senior is experiencing side effects from a medication, they should speak with their doctor about alternative options.
If a senior is experiencing dizziness or lightheadedness, it is important to have this checked by a doctor. Dizziness can be a symptom of a serious condition such as inner ear problems or low blood pressure or any number of other problematic conditions,
Lastly, it is important for seniors to stay socially active and engaged. Joining a senior center or participating in community activities can help seniors stay active and independent, which can reduce the risk of falling. Purpose, friends and energy are all great ways to keep seniors on their toes.
In conclusion, falls can have serious consequences for seniors, but there are steps that can be taken to prevent them. Maintaining good physical health, making the home environment safe, having regular checkups, being aware of the side effects of medications, and staying socially active are all ways to reduce the risk of falling. It is important for seniors to take the necessary precautions to prevent falls and stay healthy and independent.