by Melissa Chichester
According to the National Council on Aging, one out of four Americans age 65 and experiences a fall each year. And even scarier than that, every 19 minutes an older adult dies from a fall. The World Health Organization states that falls are the second leading cause of accidental injury deaths on a global scale. While falls may not seem dangerous, as you can see they may have serious consequences – especially for seniors and older adults.
Falls can be prevented by taking many precautions both at home and with physicians. Start by talking to your doctor. Have your personal physician review medications that may cause dizziness or drowsiness. A doctor can also administer a Vitamin D deficiency test.
In addition, don’t forget to stay up-to-date on vision tests. Make sure to get a vision test at least once per year, or more often if recommended by your doctor.
If you do fall, or almost fall, write down the details and share them with your doctor. Your physician can then create a fall prevention strategy that is adapted to your lifestyle needs. This includes developing a physical activity schedule that supports improved flexibility, strength, balance, and coordination.
Although preparation for fall safety may feel like a loss of independence, don’t be ashamed. Assistive devices are there to keep you safe and healthy so you can continue to enjoy your favorite activities.