Although the risk of injury-causing accidents increases as we age, you don’t have to let the fear of falling rule your life. By making simple life changes, you can decrease your chances of falling:
• Stay active—Exercise helps strengthen muscles, increase balance and coordination, and improve flexibility, all of which can help prevent a fall and help avoid an injury if you do fall.
• Be a shoe-in—Bypass the heels and flip flops and choose well-fit and comfortable shoes with soles that don’t slip or skid.
• Lighten up—Ensure your home is well lit to avoid hidden hazards lurking in the shadows, and along the same lines, ensure walkways are free from cords, boxes, and other obstacles that could be tripping risks.
• Grab help—If you start to feel like your coordination isn’t what it used to be, rely on assistive devices like railings in the shower to help you stay steady.
Check with your doctor if you’re feeling more vulnerable to falls—your doctor can review your medicines to ensure they’re not causing dizziness as well as suggest additional steps to keep you safe, such as meeting with an occupational therapist. Prevention can go a long way toward keeping you fall and injury free.