As we age, fall injuries are a very real problem for a high number of people. Each year, one in three retirees suffers an accidental fall, and accidental falls send 9% of people over age 65 to the emergency department each year. Below we include some top tips for preventing injuries from accidental falls.
Top Points for Preventing Fall Injuries
*If you experience dizziness immediately after changing positions, clenching hands and wriggling toes prior to standing can reduce this form of dizziness. Pause a moment to make sure you have full balance
every time you move from a lying to a seated position and from a seated to a standing position. If experiencing occasional dizziness, have your medications reviewed.
*When you carry packages do not let them block your view. Divide large loads into smaller loads and leave your dominant hand free to grab railings.
*Do not rush to cross streets at crosswalks. You are important, and the cars can wait on you.
*If you live alone, make contact every day with a friend, relative, or neighbor.
*Get a home alert system in case you are injured during a fall and can’t get to a phone.
*Have your vision and hearing checked routinely, and wear your corrective lenses anytime you are walking.
*Maintain a regular activity program.
*Provide good lighting for all walking areas at home – indoors and out. Don’t walk in the dark at home, and avoid walking in poorly lit areas away from home as much as possible.
*Consider arch supports. Research has shown that arch supports can improve gait and balance.
*Wear shoes with thin rubber soles that have good grip. Thick soles such as those on many athletic shoes can cause tripping for people with low foot clearance – a gait characteristic common among people age 70+. On the other hand, thin leather soles can also cause tripping due to lack of traction. Avoid walking around the house in socks.