Falls are the number one cause of injuries in older adults, leading to broken bones, head injuries, and hospitalizations. But although your risk for falls increases as you get older, falls aren’t a normal part of aging. You can help prevent them with these simple steps.
1. Talk to your primary care doctor.
Less than half of older adults who’ve fallen tell their doctor about it. Be sure to let your doctor know if you’ve fallen and also ask them:
2. Do strength and balance exercises.
Try exercises that make your legs stronger and improve your balance, such as tai chi and yoga. Try these exercise suggestions designed specifically for people ages 65 and older. You can also take free fitness classes at Your Blue Store.
3. Have your eyes checked.
It’s a good idea to see an eye doctor at least once a year and to update your eyeglasses if needed. If you have bifocal or progressive lenses, you may want to get a pair of glasses with only your distance prescription for outdoor activities. Sometimes bifocals can make things seem closer or farther away than they really are.
4. Wear sensible shoes and use a walker or cane if needed.
Consider the height of the shoes you wear and be sure they have enough traction. If you’ve been advised to use a walker or cane, keep it with you at all times.
5. Make your home safer.
These changes reduce your risk of falls at home: