Most people think that as we age, falls become a normal part of our lives, but they are not. We possess the power to reduce our risk of falling as we age, and older adult falls can be prevented. Some steps that older adults can take for fall prevention include making our living environment safer, regular exercising, getting our vision checked, and close management of medications.
Falls are one of the most common ways that will result in older adults losing their ability to live independently, and they are also the primary cause of nonfatal and fatal injuries among older adults. Let us look at some of the myths and realities of older adult falls.
Falling Is Normal for Older Adults
Falls are not a norm of our aging process. Some of the steps that we can take to prevent falls include making our living environment safer, regular strength and balance exercising, getting our vision checked, and close management of medications.
I Will Not Fall if I Limit My Daily Activities
Older adults believe that staying at home and limiting their daily activities is the best fall prevention method. However, doing physical activities help them to benefit their range of motion and strength, and help them to stay independent. Social activities are essential to improve our overall health, especially for older adults who will prefer excellent senior living community amenities for them to do what they enjoy doing daily.
I Can Avoid Falls if I Stay at Home
Most of the falls happen in our own homes. Older adults must do regular inspections for any risk of falling, and fix the hazards such as poor lighting, cluttering, and throw rugs. They can also apply non-slip paint on steps, additional handrails on stairs, and grab bars in the bathrooms.
Vision Check Is Not Required Every Year
Poor vision is a key factor for the risk of falls. Older adults are commonly associated with certain forms of vision loss which increase the risk of falling and getting injured. People that have vision issues are more likely to fall than those with no visual impairment. They should get their eyes regularly checked every year and get newly prescribed eyeglasses if needed. There are also assistive devices or programs that can help people with low vision.
Taking Medication Has No Relation to Falling
Medication may increase the risk of falling due to the side effects such as sleepiness or dizziness. Older adults must be careful when they start a new prescription of medication and talk to the pharmacist with regards to any potential side effects of the medication. They may want to engage personal care services for medication management if required.
Concerns of Older Adults on Mobility Assistance
Most older adults will reject mobility assistance, even when advised by their doctors. They are afraid that they will be dependent on assistance for their day-to-day movements and might eventually go down to the path of requiring a wheelchair. However, we should take note that they are more likely to avoid falling when they make use of mobility assistance, which will then prevent them from needing more support if they eventually do fall. Discovery Village At Naples provides senior independent living or assisted living options that can help to address any of the above issues faced by older adults.