How to Help Prevent Falls for Seniors

December 3, 2020

Falls, and fear of falling, can diminish your ability to lead a full and independent life. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 4 adults over 65 years old fall each year.

If you’ve suffered a fall, it’s important to talk with your doctor about your potential injuries.

“Some patients may have fallen and are fearful to come into the hospital to seek medical attention,” says Nasser Ani, M.D., orthopedic surgeon at Bayshore Medical Center. “Falls can result in hip, spine or shoulder fractures, head injuries or broken bones. By not seeking medical attention, muscles and joints may degenerate over time, making it difficult to heal properly.”

The good news about falls is that most of them can be prevented by making a few adjustments in your life and daily routine. We talked with Tushar Joshi, PT, DPT, board certified clinical specialist in orthopedic physical therapy at Bayshore Medical Center to get some simple steps you can take at home.

Fall Prevention Steps

  • Environment: Make sure that your home is well-lit, area rugs have a non-slip bottom, your furniture gives you enough space to easily walk and that you have handrails where necessary, such as stairs and the shower.
  • Vision: Make sure to visit your eye doctor regularly to avoid trip hazards both in and outside of the home.
  • Balance: As we get older, most people lose coordination, flexibility, and balance. Keep active to keep your body strong.
  • Medication: Some medications can cause dizziness and/or dehydration that can lead to a fall.
  • Footwear: Make sure you have proper footwear at all times including shoes with non-slip soles, slippers that aren’t too loose, and that your shoelaces are always tied.

How can a rehabilitation professional help?

“A rehabilitation professional will help design an individualized plan for your fall-prevention needs, help make your home as safe as possible, educate you about the medical risk factors associated with falls and provide you with appropriate exercises and balance training,” says Tushar. “We work with specialists to prevent falls and get you back on your feet should you require care after a fall.”

Next Steps & Resources:

The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.