Falls are a leading cause of injury among older adults. Falls are the most significant threat seniors face to their continued independence.
What to Do After A Fall & How to Prevent Future Falls
Once a person has fallen, even if they were not physically injured, there is often a fear of falling again. This fear can lead to a senior limiting exercise and reducing activities, with the hope of avoiding future falls. This is why it is crucial for caregivers and seniors to identify why the fall occurred. Then work together to put in place changes that will prevent future falls.
Steps to take after a fall has occurred:
Visit your doctor
An important first step is to discuss the fall with your doctor. Your doctor can review:
Certain medications can affect your balance and ability to focus.
Because vision changes over time. It is easy to become accustomed to vision changes until an accident brings them to light.
Something as common as a UTI can lead to muscle weakness that causes falls
Ask your doctor to measure your change in blood pressure when transitioning from sitting to standing
Your doctor can review your balance and gait while walking. Discuss any areas of pain or discomfort that might be affecting the way you move.
6. Referrals for podiatry, neurological, or home safety reviews
While your GP may not be able to cover every base, they can refer you to other providers who can.
Proactive Lifestyle and Environmental Changes
The preventative measures below can be implemented quickly and easily to help avoid future falls.
1. Proper Footwear
Safe shoes for seniors need:
- Non-slip soles
- To be made from breathable materials
- Have wide openings
- Have no laces
2. Address Lighting Issues
- Add or use more lighting
- Have a lamp within reach of the bed
- Install nightlights to illuminate the path to the kitchen and bathroom
- Move items out of walkways
- Ensure your rugs are firmly in place
- Replace bath mats with non-slip mats
- Increase balance and lower body strength – consult a trainer
- Start walking regularly
- If walking is not an option, low-impact activities like stretching and tai chi are beneficial
- Add grab bars in the bathroom
- Add rails to both sides of staircases
- Research mobility aides
Download our FREE room-by-room home fall prevention checklist OR give us a call for a thorough in-home assessment: 615-422-7549