Slips and falls account for many injuries in the population every year, especially in older adults. Fall prevention is an important step in maintaining independence and promoting overall health. Follow these tips below to improve safety and decrease fall risk:
1. Exercise regularly. Maintaining good muscle strength, flexibility and endurance are an important step in preventing falls. Simply going for regular walks or participating in activities such as Tai Chi or yoga can improve balance. The physical therapists at Adirondack Heath’s Saranac Lake, Lake Placid and Tupper Lake locations can evaluate your balance and risk of falling and prescribe a customized exercise program to address your specific needs. The Fit for Life program at Adirondack Health can help you maintain these gains and promote your physical fitness and overall wellbeing.
2. Review all your medications with your medical provider. Some medication can cause dizziness or fatigue which can affect your balance and increase your risk of falls.
3. Get yearly vision exams. Ensuring you can see clearly will help prevent trips and falls.
4. Wear supportive, well-fitting shoes with good traction inside and outside your home. Avoid open backed shoes and slippers, high heels, or flip-flops which can cause tripping. Socks or shoes with smooth soles can increase your chances of slips.
5. Address fall hazards in your home environment
-Remove throw rugs which are a common trip hazard
-Ensure handrails are installed on all steps and stairs
-Improve lighting in poorly lit areas and use a nightlight at night
-Add grab bars to you tub or shower and use non-slip mats on the floor
-Avoid using step stools or ladders by placing frequently used items in low cabinets.
6. Consider using a cane or other assistive device if your balance is poor. Using an assistive device can promote your independence by improving safety and sense of security while moving about your home or in the community.
The physical therapists at Adirondack Heath’s Saranac Lake, Lake Placid and Tupper Lake locations can evaluate your need for an assistive device and help make recommendations about which device will be best for your specific needs.