Falls are the leading cause of injury among seniors and roughly half of these falls occur at home. Every year, one-third of seniors fall and often experience serious consequences to their health, independence and quality of life. Fortunately, many falls are preventable.
Reduce your risk by following these tips:
- Exercise regularly. Adults aged 65 years and older should complete at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity per week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more. If you have poor mobility, physical activity can help you enhance your balance and prevent falls. Make sure you have proper footwear that includes rubber soles, low heels and laces or Velcro that securely fasten.
- Take a bone density test. Osteoporosis is a disease that makes bones brittle and more likely to break during a fall. At least 80 per cent of broken bones in older adults are related to osteoporosis, with older women at greatest risk of developing the disease. Ask your doctor for a bone mineral density test to determine your risk.
- Know your medications. Taking four or more medications increases your chance of falling. Speak to your doctor about all the medications you are taking to learn why you are taking them, what side effects they have (such as drowsiness or dizziness) and if there are alternatives.
- Reduce home hazards. These include loose carpets and cords on the floor, items blocking the stairs and poor lighting. Also consider installing assistive devices, such as grab bars or raised toilet seats.For more information, contact Osteoporosis Canada 1-800-463-6842 www.osteoporosis.ca Read: A Guide to Preventing Falls and What To Do If You Fall