Aging’s going to happen. But did you know that falls don’t have to happen? You may believe that falls are a natural and normal part of getting older, but they’re absolutely not! So what can seniors do to prevent falling? There are steps you can take to assess how at-risk you or your loved ones are for a fall, and adjustments you can make to your lifestyle and surroundings that can minimize the possibility of fall-related injuries.
Am I at Risk of Falling?
According to the Center For Disease CDC, falls are the leading cause of injury for older adults (aged 65 and up). Check out the sobering statistics they’ve gathered:
- In the U.S., an older adult takes a fall every second of every day.
- One in four older adults falls each year.
- Over 36 million falls involving older adults are reported every year.
- Among older adults, roughly 32,000 deaths related to falls are reported annually.
- About 3 million older adults visit emergency rooms every year for fall-related injuries.
- One in every five falls causes injury.
- At least 300,000 seniors are hospitalized for hip fractures each year, with more than 95% of those fractures caused by falling.
- Statistically, women fall more often than men.
How Can I Prevent Falls at Home as I Get Older?
While the CDC’s data on falls may seem alarming, there are very easy and effective steps you can take to reduce your risk at home.
- Take a good look around your home, and clear away any trip hazards like cords, rugs, and pet toys.
- Keep your floors free of clutter, and make sure your shoes and slippers have some grip to avoid slipping.
- Add grab bars and handles to your bathroom to help you stand up, sit down, and step out of the showeer or bathtub.
- Affix a textured bath mat to your tub or shower to give your wet feet some traction.
- Make sure every set of stairs in your home has sturdy handrails and is well-lit.
Can My Doctor Help Me Prevent Falls?
Your doctor can help you assess your risk of falling, and help you prevent injury. Here are some tips for making the most out of your next visit with your physician.
- If you’ve already taken a fall, are afraid of falling, or notice any changes in your balance, talk to your doctor as soon as possible.
- Talk to your doctor about any medications you are currently taking. Some have side effects or possible interactions that can affect your balance and stability.
- Keep your glasses prescription up to date. Good vision can help you spot and avoid potential fall risks.
- Have your doctor check your feet for any issues that may affect your balance.
Can Exercise Help Reduce My Risk of Falling?
YES! Movement is magic, and any exercise that helps strengthen your legs or improve your balance is incredibly helpful in preventing falls as you age. Check out these exercise guides to learn more:
- How Does Balance Work and How Can I Improve It?
- How Does Walking Help Senior Citizens Age Well?
- How Can Seniors Improve Their Walking Posture? We have 10 Easy Tips.
Can a Mobility Device Help Reduce My Fall Risk?
Mobility devices, like traditional walkers, rollators, and the Camino Smart Walker can cut your fall risk by keeping you stable as you walk. Whatever your mobility needs, there’s a device to fit your lifestyle, so be sure to talk to your doctor or physical therapist about your options.
Did you know that using a walker, rollator, or Camino can help you gain the confidence and strength to walk more often and reduce your risk of falling? Camino is the first smart electric-powered mobility device that boosts, brakes, nudges, detects, protects, and a whole lot of other magical things that help keep you moving—and help you avoid falls. Camino’s AI provides user stability tracking, gait data collection, and a continually-evolving panel of diagnostics, so your doctor can have even more information to help keep you on your feet.
Find out more about how to choose the mobility aid that’s right for you here: Walker, Rollator, and Camino: What's the Difference and How Do You Choose?