With 33% of older Americans falling each year, it has become a seemingly general rule that falls are just a natural part of aging, but with so many factors at play, there is more and more research to support that this shouldn’t be accepted – or expected. In fact, the National Council On Aging has concluded that with proper care, a senior adult can expect to live a full, healthy, and fall-free lifestyle.
If you think you or a loved one may be at risk, here are a few factors to consider:
Your medical condition and overall wellness are the single most important factors in preventing falls. From proper nutrition and mobility to your eyesight, caring for and listening to your body is essential to living an independent life free of falls.
Taking medication? Tracking your intake, symptoms, and reactions to every dose is also important as one small change could cause imbalance, nausea, or even dizziness that is often linked to falls.
Whether it’s everyday clutter or hazardous new obstacles, your environment plays a major role in your safety when it comes to the likelihood of a fall. That’s why proper home maintenance from floor to ceiling is not just recommended; it’s critical. And because many falls are related to vision problems or limitations, it’s more important than ever to ensure that there is adequate lighting throughout your living space.
Attire and Shoes
Environmental factors aside, the most hazardous elements could be part of your clothing. It’s always important to keep an eye on loose clothing like jackets, pants, or tunics that could get caught in doors or other furniture and cause a fall. Extra tight clothing can also pose a concern in the event that material cuts off blood flow, restricting mental capacity or motor skills. What’s more are the shoes you might be wearing, as loose or slippery soles could easily cause a fall.
When it comes to proper fall prevention, there are a wide range of things to keep in mind and a fall risk assessment with your physician is always recommended if you feel you or a loved one are at risk. However, the truth remains that with frequent medical checks, careful attention to your physical health and wellbeing and a close eye on your surroundings, falls will be less frequent – or simply won’t happen.
Role of Nutrition
Nutrition plays a vital role in older adults. Nutrition can help seniors regain their strength and energy faster, and can help to reduce falls. Many older Americans may have a home-delivered meal benefit on their health insurance plan or are eligible to receive meals through local programs. To help find resources for home-delivered meals, visit BenefitsCheckup.org.
To learn more about food assistance programs, download the below guide.