Falls are the number one issue with most older adults. Not because of the fall itself, but from all the various complications that result from falls. A big part of our work at HSS Toronto is involved with preventing falls through a number of interventions. Here’s a quick list of possible things to consider if you want to prevent yourself from falling; or, if you want to mitigate the chances of your loved ones from falling.
Review medications and your overall fall risk with your family doctor. Lots of medications can cause dizziness or balance issues. Eye examinations on a regular basis can also be useful so that your eye doctor can advise on needed prescription changes. By just being aware of these causes or modifying behaviour around their use can lessen the chances of a fall.
Clean up and remove clutter in the house. Sometimes this is as simple as getting rid of piles of stuff near doors or entrances; or moving furniture and tables around so that they are no longer in the way. Tacking down (or removing completely) loose carpets and looking for changes in floor heights from room to room is also very useful.
Exercise. I’m a big proponent of exercise for a number of reasons. Strengthening legs allows for more walking and reduced risk of falling. Balancing exercises ensure better balance overall. Exercise can also reduce fatigue during the day, making falling less of a risk.