Healthy Living Blog – Tips to Prevent Falls at Home for Older Adults

Healthy Living Blog – Tips to Prevent Falls at Home for Older Adults

More than 1 in 4 older adults (over 25%) fall each year. Most falls don’t cause injuries. But 1 in 5 falls cause serious injury such as head injury or broken bones. Older adults who get seriously injured from falling usually head to the ER to get treated or hospitalized. Falls can also result in death.

Over half of falls happen at home. Older adults may fear falling and become less active, which actually increases their risk of falling. Falls can be prevented by staying active and making homes safer. These actions can reduce older adults’ fear of falling and promote healthy aging.

Who is at risk of falling?

Older adults who:

  • Have fallen in the last year.
  • Have a lack of vitamin D.
  • Have weaker muscles.
  • Have a hard time walking or balancing. This can be because of certain health conditions.
  • Have vision problems.
  • Take medicines that cause dizziness or sleepiness.
  • Have unsafe home conditions such as uneven steps or clutter that can be tripped over.

 

How to prevent falling at home

  1. Stay active! Exercise is good for healthy aging and can help keep strength and balance in your joints and legs. You can do these balance and strength exercises at home.
  • For balance, older adults can:
    • Stand up from a sitting position.
    • Practice standing on one foot. Use a chair to help you catch your balance if you need it.
    • Learn Tai Chi. Senior centers may have Tai Chi classes online because of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can also search up Tai Chi videos online.
    • Do some yoga. You can also find many yoga videos online.
  • For strength, older adults can:
    • Use exercise bands or lift hand weights. You can also use water jugs or food cans as weights.
    • Make sure to breathe when lifting these weights.
  1. Talk to your doctor about:
  • The medicines you are using. The doctor can check to see if your medicines make you dizzy or sleepy.
  • Taking vitamin D supplements. These supplements can help older adults get enough vitamin D to stay healthy.
  • Getting your vision checked. Poor vision can increase your risk of falling so it’s best to be up-to-date on eyeglass prescriptions.
  1. Make your home safer
  • Have railings on all the stairs in your home. Make sure to hold onto these railings when going up and down the stairs.
  • Put in grab bars inside and outside your bathtub or shower. You can also put them by your toilet.
  • Use non-slip mats in the bathtub or shower.
  • Use double-sided tape to secure rugs.
  • Use bright lights in your home to see better, especially if you have vision problems.
  • Clear your home of clutter or things that are easy to trip over such as cords, shoes, and papers.

 

Have questions or curious to learn more?  Please reach out to our Health Center and make an appointment to speak with a doctor.  AACI provides services in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, and many other languages. Call (408) 975-2763 to schedule your appointment today!