Slipping on a banana peel has been a comedic standard for ages. However, for many older adults, the risk of falling is not so funny. In fact, it can be downright scary since a fall can result in injury, hospitalization, loss of independence, and an altered lifestyle. As if getting older isn’t tough enough already, your risk of falling actually increases as you age.
In general, we tend to be less active as we get up in years, and this reduced physical activity can lead to weakened muscles and poor circulation that can cause dizziness and balance issues. Many times, eyesight also weakens with age which can lead to tripping and falling as well. Even certain medications can add to the possibility of a fall if they make you drowsy or dizzy.
The good news is, while we can’t turn back the clock, we can offer some fall prevention tips to keep you on your feet.
First off, keep moving! Staying active will help keep your muscles strong and your blood flowing. This doesn’t mean you have to start training for the master’s division of a marathon—simply walking or regularly doing balance and strengthening exercises is a great way to incorporate fitness back into your life.
Of course, do this with care. Get yourself some supportive footwear with good treads and avoid uneven terrain. Also, make sure you get your vision tested, and wear corrective lenses if you need them. In your home, remove loose rugs, cords, and other tripping hazards, and be sure to use handrails on stairs. Lighting is important, too—make sure dark areas like hallways are adequately lit.
Finally, check with your doctor about side effects of medication, and be sure to follow instructions closely.
You know what they say, the older you get the wiser you become—at least there are some good things about aging, right? So, use that wisdom to your advantage—be smart about knowing your risk of falling and take (careful) steps to keep your feet—and only your feet!—on the ground.
For more information on senior foot care, or if you’ve fallen and need some help, please don’t hesitate to call us at Sierra Foot & Ankle in Carson City and Gardnerville, NV. Just dial (888) 608-8406 and we’ll be happy to assist you!