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7 Fall Prevention Tips

A senior woman practicing yoga

You take your vitamins, try to eat healthy, and stay active, but how much thought have you given to fall prevention strategies?  

First, the bad news: One out of four older adults falls each year, and 20% of those falls cause a severe injury such as broken bones, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even worse, the fear of falling causes some seniors to become more sedentary, launching a downward spiral of frailty, anxiety, and even depression.

The good news is that falling doesn’t have to be an inevitable part of aging. Keep reading to learn 7 fall prevention tips to keep you on your feet. 

1. Talk to Your Doctor

First off, talk to your healthcare provider. They’re able to consider any side effects from medication that could increase your risk of falling. They will also have specific fall prevention strategies that take your lifestyle, needs and possible risk factors into account. Plus, you can ask for an evaluation of your strength, balance, and gait. Knowing this information can help you set a plan to reduce your risk of falling. 

2. Work on Building Strength and Improving Balance

Physical activity and fitness routines can go a long way in fall prevention. Low-impact exercises such as walking, yoga, and tai chi help reduce the risk of falls by improving balance, coordination, and strength. Resistance training is an even more powerful tool in preventing muscle loss as we age. If you’re unsure how to start, even one session with a physical trainer can be helpful in coming up with a plan. SilverSneakers offers free online and in-person classes to adults over 65 through select Medicare plans. 

3. Remove Tripping Hazards

Clearing clutter around the house will help decrease your chances of tripping. This includes moving shoes, boxes, papers and books from stairs and hallways, and properly securing rugs and cords. Storing your most commonly used items within easy reach and between waist and shoulder height is another helpful in fall prevention for seniors.

4. Check Your Lighting

Make sure both the inside and outside of your home has enough lighting for you to see your way clearly when walking. Install brighter lights throughout your home, especially in narrow hallways and stairwells, and add night lights where helpful. 

5. Wear Sensible Shoes

For around the house, find a slipper or other comfortable shoe that securely fits on your feet and has a non-slip sole. For outside the home, avoid high or narrow heels, smooth bottoms, and shoes that lack laces, straps, and buckles. 

6. Use Assistive Devices if Necessary

Installing handrails and grab bars around your home helps in preventing falls by giving you something stable to hold on to. You might also consider using a cane, walker, or rollator. If you haven’t seen the latest wave of these products, you might be surprised by how functional and stylish they can be. This Wall Street Journal article does a nice job examining how the Boomer generation’s call for products that do “not look like something a frail, invalid person would use” has revolutionized the marketplace.

7. Have Your Eyesight and Hearing Checked

While the connection between vision and the risk of falling is obvious, hearing loss is also part of the equation because of its direct effect on balance. That’s why it’s important to have both your vision and your hearing checked yearly — and to update glasses and hearing aides as necessary. If you have progressive lenses or bifocals, experts suggest getting an additional pair of distance-only glasses for activities such as walking outside.

Fall Prevention for Seniors at Winchester Gardens

Winchester Gardens is an active senior life plan community located in Maplewood, New Jersey, that allows for older adults to enter through our independent living communities and, if needs change over time, continue on with assisted living and memory care services. Through our award-winning whole-person wellness program, LivWell, we’ll work with you to personalize a plan to help you reach your goals, including fall prevention strategies. Our signature Stand Tall Don’t Fall program is another tool in preventing falls — and keeping you on your feet to enjoy our 37 landscaped acres with walking trails, heated indoor swimming pool, woodworking shop, art studio, library, movie theater, and a full lineup of activities and events. Contact us today to learn more and schedule your personal tour of Winchester Gardens.


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