Lifestyle Adjustments That Can Help Prevent Falls

Sunrise Senior Living  |  July 28, 2016

Being proactive about your overall health is the first step to take in fall prevention.

With age, your likeliness of experiencing falls is greater.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that one out of three older adults will fall each year, and one out of five falls results in a serious injury. Seeking medical treatment after a harsh fall is very important, but preventing the falls from happening in the first place is even more crucial.

As an older person, it's critical to be aware of the physical changes your body goes through, whether it's due to a health condition or the natural aging process. By taking care of yourself, you can live a long, healthy life while also reducing your risk of experiencing a fall.

Consider these simple adjustments you can make in your life to prevent falling:

Exercise more often
Exercising on a normal basis is great for your health – it can help you maintain your weight, contribute to a healthy heart and reduce your risk of experiencing certain chronic conditions. But that's not it – the CDC reported that performing balance and muscle-strengthening exercises (such as weight lifting and yoga) and moderately-intense aerobic training (such as jogging and swimming) every week can also reduce your risk of falling.

Going on a brisk walk multiple times a week can reduce your chance of falling. Going on a brisk walk multiple times a week can reduce your chance of falling.

Schedule a vision test
When was the last time you visited the optician for an eye exam? Clear vision is vital for walking around and avoiding falls. If you feel as though your poor vision is increasing, the NHS strongly suggested getting your eyes examined. You may even want to consider getting glasses if the doctor recommends it.

"Medication side effects could be increasing your risk of falling."

Review your medications
If you take multiple medications every day, it's important to have them reviewed by your doctor at least once a year, preferably every time you visit. Certain side effects, such as dizziness, could be increasing your risk of falling.

Cut back on alcohol
If you consume too much alcohol on a normal basis for you, it's in your best interest to cut back – drinking alcohol can make you lose coordination and can increase your risk of experiencing certain side effects of your medications – ultimately heightening your chance of experiencing a fall.

Create a safe living environment
Once you've adjusted your current lifestyle habits, it's time to prepare your home for fall prevention. The National Council on Aging suggested removing all tripping hazards from your floors, improving the lighting throughout your house and installing stairways railing and grab bars in areas that pose higher threats for falling.