Posted on Jan 21, 2016
In 2011-12, more than 90 000 Australians aged over sixty-five* were hospitalised for fall-related injuries. Many of these accidents occurred in and around the home. There are three important considerations for seniors to prevent fall injuries. Firstly, review your health regimen. Secondly, be aware that you are not as light on your feet as you once were and compensate accordingly. Finally, an assessment of your home can identify danger areas where slips and trips are most likely to occur.
Remaining as healthy as possible through exercise and regular check-ups can greatly reduce your chances of having a fall. Consider the following suggestions to remain injury-free.
Strength and weight training: As you age, strength and balance can deteriorate. Taking part in regular, light exercise programs which focus on these factors is important. Tai Chi or a custom-designed gym workout are ideal.
Doctor visits: If you are having episodes where you feel weak, light-headed or dizzy, inform your doctor. Side effects from medication or an ear disorder are possible causes.
Optometrist visits: Many slips and trips occur because of failing eyesight. Visit your optometrist regularly to identify and treat vision problems.
Mindfulness is the state of being focussed in the present moment. Seniors often fall because of momentary lapses in concentration. Here are ways to be constantly aware of your surroundings so that you do not slip or trip.
As you age, it is important to remove as much clutter as possible from your home. You might also consider installing aids which help with mobility and fall prevention. Here are some easy ways to make your home safer.
You might wish to review the information presented on Independent Living Centres Australia to find ideas for fall-proofing your home.
Falls are not caused by old age, but rather, deteriorating health and lack of diligence. As part of the Australian government’s aged care packages, you may be eligible for fitness and rehabilitation services or home maintenance and modifications. Ask your loved ones or your in-home care provider for assistance with accessing appropriate advice in order to remain active and injury-free.
*Statistic from Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Image credit: "The Fountain of Youth" (cropped) by Alex Proimos. (Creative Commons Attribution-Attribution 2.0 Generic)