10 Essential Tips to Prevent Falls for Older Adults and Seniors
Updated: Oct 3
As we go through life, it's really important to stay independent and avoid falls, especially for older people who rely on Medicare. Falls can cause big injuries and make people less independent. But there are things you can do to lower the chances of falling, right at home.
This guide combines two important articles to give you the top ten ways to prevent falls at home if you're a senior with Medicare.
1. Making Your Home Safe: The Basics
The first step to preventing falls is to make your home safe. Here's how:
Clearing Clutter: Get rid of things in your way so you can move around easily.
Safe Rugs and Mats: Use rugs and mats that won't make you slip.
Good Lighting: Make sure your home is well-lit so you can see well and not trip.
Helpful Things: Put up bars and railings, especially in the bathroom and on stairs.
Safer Bathroom: Use mats that won't slip and higher toilet seats.
2. Getting Stronger and More Balanced
Exercising regularly is a great way to prevent falls. Try these exercises:
Getting Stronger: Use stretchy bands or light weights to make your muscles stronger.
Better Balance: Stand on one leg, walk heel to toe, and do easy yoga poses.
Staying Flexible: Stretching helps your joints move better.
3. Being Careful with Medicines
Know how your medicines might affect your balance:
Check Your Medicines: Talk to your doctor to make sure your medicines won't make you unsteady.
Talk About Dizziness: If you feel dizzy or unsteady, tell your doctor.
4. Taking Care of Your Eyes
Having good vision is important to avoid falls:
Eye Check-ups: See eye doctors to keep your glasses up to date.
Good Lighting: Make sure your home is bright so you can see well.
5. Wearing the Right Shoes
Wearing the right shoes can help you stay steady:
Good Shoes: Wear shoes that fit well, have support, and won't slip.
Avoid High Heels: Shoes with low heels or no heels are safer.
6. Being Socially Active
Staying active with friends can help you exercise and feel good:
Join Classes: Look for exercise classes for seniors in your area.
Online Workouts: Try exercise classes on the internet that fit your abilities.
7. Eating Healthy for Strong Bones
Eating the right foods can make your bones stronger and prevent breaks:
Foods with Calcium: Have milk, green veggies, and foods with added calcium.
Vitamin D Help: Ask your doctor about vitamin D pills for healthy bones.
8. Drinking Enough Water
Drinking water is important for your body and balance:
Stay Hydrated: Drink enough water all day to avoid feeling dizzy.
9. Changing Your Home and Using Tools
Make your home safer by using helpful tools:
Helpful Tools: Use tools like reachers and grabbers to get things without straining.
Ramps and Rails: Add ramps and railings to move around your home safely.
10. Checking Your Health Regularly
Seeing your doctor regularly can help catch and fix health problems that might make you fall:
Full Check-ups: Regular health check-ups can help you stay healthy and prevent falls.
Conclusion: Following these ten important tips can really lower your chances of falling and make you feel better overall. Remember, preventing falls helps you stay in control and live a good life without worrying about falling. If you're not sure where to start, or if you need some personal help, talk to a physical therapist who knows about helping older people.
By making your home safer, staying active, and talking to your healthcare team, you can be on the path to preventing falls and living a safe and happy life.
Casey McNamara, PT, DPT