Tips to prevent falls |

Tips to prevent falls

Falls are a leading cause of injury among older adults. Still, fear of falling doesn’t need to rule your life. Instead, consider a few simple fall-prevention strategies.

Make an appointment with your doctor. Begin your fall-prevention plan by making an appointment with your doctor. Be prepared to answer questions such as: What medications are you taking? Have you fallen before? Write down the details, including when, where and how you fell. Could your health conditions cause a fall? Certain eye and ear disorders may increase your risk of falls.

Keep moving. Physical activity can go a long way toward fall prevention. With your doctor’s OK, consider activities such as walking, water workouts or tai chi — a gentle exercise that involves slow and graceful dance-like movements. Such activities reduce the risk of falls by improving strength, balance, coordination and flexibility.

Wear sensible shoes. Consider changing your footwear as part of your fall-prevention plan. High heels, floppy slippers and shoes with slick soles can make you slip, stumble and fall. So can walking in your stocking feet.

Remove home hazards. Take a look around your home. Your living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, hallways and stairways may be filled with hazards. For example, remove boxes, newspapers, electrical cords and phone cords from walkways. Secure loose rugs with double-faced tape, tacks or a slip-resistant backing — or remove loose rugs from your home. Store clothing, dishes, food and other necessities within easy reach. Immediately clean spilled liquids, grease or food. Use nonslip mats in your bathtub or shower.

— Courtesy of the Mayo Clinic

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