Falls can happen anywhere. They are the leading cause of numerous injuries in older adults. In Canada, one in four seniors fall each year. There are a few tips to keep yourself safe.
One of the leading causes for falls is environmental hazards in the home. Loose rugs, poor lighting, and low furniture can put seniors at an increased risk of falling. It’s important to assess homes for common causes. Other possible hazards for falls include uneven floors, clutter, and slippery bathtubs. Being aware of the causes for falls in homes is the first step in prevention.
Another cause for falls is poor eyesight. Seniors should maintain regular eye exams each year. Eye conditions such as glaucoma or cataracts can lead to increased risk of falls. Seniors should also keep up to date on their prescription lens and speak with their provider if they have any questions or concerns.
Another great method to avoid falls is to improve balance with exercise. It only takes a few seconds every day. Activities such as yoga, walking, Tai Chai, and weight bearing exercise can further reduce the risk of falls.
Exercise seniors can start doing right now to improve balance:
1. Stand behind a chair
2. Grab the back of the chair firmly with both hands.
3. Lift the right foot and balance with the left foot.
4. Hold for 10-15 seconds
5. Switch feet.
As your balance improves, try holding the chair with one hand.
Please advise your provider before attempting this exercise.