Easy tips for preventing falls
Falls are the number one cause of injuries in older adults, leading to broken bones, head injuries, and hospitalizations. But although the risk for falls increases as people get older, falls aren’t a normal part of aging. Your loved one can help prevent falls with these simple steps.
Help prevent falls with these simple steps.
Talk to their primary care provider (PCP)
Less than half of older adults who’ve fallen tell their PCP about it. Your loved one should also ask the PCP:
- To evaluate their risk for falling
- If any of their medications might make cause dizziness or sleepiness. Their doctor should review their over-the-counter medicines and prescription medicines—particularly tranquilizers, sedatives, or antidepressants.
- What they can do to strengthen their bones
Do strength and balance exercises
Suggest that your loved one try exercises that make their legs stronger and improve their balance, such as tai chi and yoga. They can also take free classes for members at Your Blue Store locations.
If your loved one has a Medicare Advantage plan through BCBSRI, they can take advantage of variety of home fitness kits and $0 gym membership through the Silver & Fit program.
Have their eyes checked
It’s a good idea for older adults to see an eye doctor at least once a year and to update their eyeglasses if needed. If your loved one has bifocal or progressive lenses, they may want to get a pair of glasses with only their distance prescription for outdoor activities. Sometimes bifocals can make things seem closer or farther away than they really are.
Make their home safer
These changes reduce your loved one’s risk of falls at home:
- Add grab bars inside and outside the tub or shower and next to the toilet.
- Make sure there is lots of light by adding more or brighter light bulbs.
- Keep floors free of clutter or wires that could be tripped over. Make sure that all carpets and throw rugs are fastened to the floor.
- Put railings on both sides of stairs.