It’s a scary statistic. Every year, one out of every four Americans age 65 and older falls. For older adults, falls are the largest source of trauma and trauma-related death.
No one likes to lose their independence. That’s why some people may hesitate to tell anyone they’ve had a fall. But being open with family members or a healthcare provider can lead to simple changes that keep an older person safe and independent.
How can you assess your fall risk (or that of a loved one) and avoid falls? Our team at AFC Urgent Care South Charlotte would like to share some insight.
What Puts Someone at Risk for a Fall?
As people get older, they lose muscle mass and balance. They may also see or hear less well. Plus, some medications have side effects of dizziness and loss of balance.
Also, everyday things around you can contribute to falls. These are known as environmental risk factors.
Environmental Fall Risk Factors
- Throw rugs, electrical cords or other things on the floor
- Dim lighting
- Uneven surfaces, such as roots over a path
- Slippery surfaces, such as highly waxed floors
How Can I Prevent Falls?
For a long-term solution, you’ll need to have a conversation with your doctor. He or she check your strength and balance, and refer you to a physical therapy program, if you need it.
But there are plenty of simple things you can do right now. You can stay active, even if that just means taking a walk every day. You can avoid sleep medications, alcohol and anything else that makes you sluggish. Plus, you can make your home easier to navigate.
Ways to Fall-Proof Your Home
- Keep floors tidy.
- Remove throw rugs.
- Tape extension cords down.
- Place grip rails in your tub.
- Use nightlights.
Have you or a loved one fallen lately? Make an AFC TeleCare appointment with our AFC Urgent Care South Charlotte team to get your concerns addressed from home, or stop by to visit today.