Recently here at Royal Oaks, Hamilton Home Health offered a presentation on fall prevention to the residents within the community. This presentation highlighted ways to decrease falls, as “35 to 40 percent of older adults fall at least once each year,” according to the CDC. The risk for falling may be reduced by following these takeaways from the presentation.
- It starts at home: The vast majority of falls occur within the home. By taking a few extra measures to ensure the home of a loved one is safe, it can help decrease falls. One such measure that can be implemented is removal of items which an individual can trip over (i.e. clothing, shoes, magazines, and other clutter). Additional measures that can be taken in the home is the use of a walking aid. Good lighting is also a key component, however, ensure that the bulbs are not too bright by utilizing light shades or using frosted bulbs, which can help reduce glare. If an individual has to move up and down stairs, ensure that the path has sufficient lighting.
- Managing medication: Different medications can also contribute to falls occurring within older adults. Medicine that helps control blood pressure as well as pain medications can have common side effects, which can vary with each individual and can include dizziness. Dizziness can occur when an individual changes position quickly (i.e. sitting to standing or from lying to sitting). It is important to move slowly to avoid becoming dizzy, which can prevent falls.
- Exercise is key: Exercise can help an individual with balance and coordination. Aside from these two benefits, the body will become stronger. Therefore, if a fall does occur, the chance of an injury is less likely to happen. Practicing getting in and out of a chair is a good way to strengthen muscles in the legs, as these muscles are essential to increasing mobility and improving balance.
Here at Royal Oaks we want to educate our residents on ways to improve their safety and well-being. The aforementioned points listed above are just a few ways that an individual can prevent falls from occurring. These keys are just the basis of starting to live a lifestyle which can be free from falls.