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Five Things You Can Do To Prevent Falls

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 1 in every 3 adults, 65 and older falls every year.  Why Do Older People Fall? Here are five reasons and remedies.

1. Our backs round and our heads tilt forward, changing our center of gravity.

  • Prevent it by making good posture a habit. When you sit, tilt your pelvis forward, lengthen your spine, and imagine a string at the top of your head pulling it up. Stand taller and pull your stomach in; roll your shoulders back and down.

2.  We lose muscle strength in our legs and feet. We begin to shuffle instead of picking up our feet, increasing the risk that we can trip.

  • Prevent it by strengthening your legs and feet. You can sit in a chair and alternately lift your legs. Go to an exercise or yoga class especially for seniors.

3.  We look down at the floor when we walk because we are afraid to trip on something. This actually tilts us toward the floor increasing the chances of falling. 

  • Prevent it by looking ahead while walking. If the walking surface is flat, like a mall, practice looking ahead.

4. We trip on scatter rugs or wear ill-fitting shoes.

  • Prevent it by “senior-proofing” your home. Get rid of scatter rugs, re-fit your bathroom, and don’t wear flip-flops or shoes that can catch on things.

5. Medications.

  • Prevent it by asking your doctor to review your medications. Was a new medication prescribed recently?

 What To Do If You Fall and You Are Alone. 

Are you hurt? Take a moment to assess the situation. Catch your breath and determine if you are hurt.

If you have a "life alert" or a cell phone on you, use it!

  • Call 911 immediately. If a stroke caused your fall, minutes matter. You may not know you had one, so err on the side of caution. Nothing is as important as your life.

If you don’t have a cell phone, or life-alert:

  • Roll onto the side that is not painful.
  • Get onto hands and knees.
  • Crawl to the the nearest piece of sturdy furniture and get up.
  • Call 911.