Falls are not a natural consequence of aging; however, aging does contribute to factors that increase the risk of falling, including reduced strength in lower extremities, use of four or more medications, poor vision, chronic health problems and unsafe home conditions.
There are ways older Iowans can prevent falls:
- Take your time - get out of chairs slowly. Sit for a moment before getting out of bed.
- Wear sturdy, well-fitting shoes with low heels and non-slip soles.
- See an eye specialist once a year. Poor vision can increase your chances of falling.
- Be aware that some medications have side effects that can cause dizziness.
- Increase physical activity - regular exercise increases balance and strength.
Follow these tips to make living areas safer and help reduce the risk of falls:
- Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors.
- Have grab bars installed next to the toilet and in the tub or shower.
- Have handrails on both sides of stairways.
- Improve lighting in the entire home.
- Remove tripping hazards like throw rugs and clutter in walkways.
September 23, the first day of Fall, is Falls Prevention Day. Click here to learn more about falls prevention. And click here for resources for older Iowans and/or disabled adults.
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