Slip and Fall Prevention Tips for The Elderly

Handsome man helps an elderly woman get up after falling off a bicycle on a suburban road

Did you know that about thirty-six million older adults fall every year? One of every five falls results in an injury, and around thirty-two thousand deaths occur because of an initial fall. If you trip and fall and are seriously hurt, your life could potentially change forever. The risk of falling continues to increase as you age. For this reason, it is vital to educate yourself about the simple ways to avoid a slip, trip, or fall. The following guide includes several top safety tips and practices to help prevent these accidents. Keep reading on, and we will inform you of everything you need to know about fall prevention for seniors.

If you are looking for assisted living and memory care services in Wichita, don’t hesitate to contact Comfort and Love Senior Care Homes. We are conveniently located in East Wichita, one mile off K-96 at East 21st Street North, conveniently nestled near shops, restaurants, medical offices, and churches. 

Why Falling is Common Among The Elderly 

There are many reasons why elderly individuals slip and fall. Some common causes include difficulty with sight, hearing, and balance. Additionally, many health conditions can affect your balance, including diabetes, heart issues, thyroid problems, and nerve damage. It is also common for prescription medications to have unwanted side effects that make it challenging to stay balanced. Many older adults even report that they find safety hazards in their homes that may lead to the added risk of slips and falls. 

Various personal factors make it more likely for people to fall during normal day-to-day activities. For example, it is common for people to lose balance if their blood pressure changes while lying down to standing up. Remember to make position changes slowly! You are also more likely to fall if you are confused or overwhelmed. This may happen if you are in a new or unfamiliar environment. If this happens to you, remember to wait for a moment, breathe, and relax. You can always ask for somebody to help support you as you get familiar with your surroundings before trying to move. 

Another great tip to keep in mind involves your wardrobe. Sometimes it is difficult to remain balanced when wearing the wrong types of footwear for your body. Wear backless shoes, high-heels, and flip-flops with caution if you’re worried about falling. 

If slipping and falling is making your day-to-day lifestyle unmanageable, and you are considering looking for your next level of care and attention, have a conversation with us at Comfort and Love Senior Care Homes. As Wichita’s premier assisted living and memory care home, we are entirely dedicated to providing you with the highest level of service.

Each resident at Comfort and Love is protected 24/7 using a wearable CarePredict Personal Monitoring wrist-watch. In a recent study, CarePredict’s AI-powered solution in senior living facilities demonstrated a significant reduction of 69 percent in the facility’s annual fall rates. Your loved one’s vital stats are carefully monitored to help prevent health complications leading to a fall. 

Tips for the Elderly Who Want to Prevent Falls 

One of the best ways to prevent the risk of falling is to take care of your all-around health. Additionally, you can do several simple things to minimize the likelihood of taking a fall. 

Keep Yourself Active

If you haven’t done so already, consider creating an exercise routine that works for your needs. Exercising regularly can increase muscle strength and improve your joint, tendon, and ligament flexibility. Consider activities like walking on a treadmill or taking strolls around your neighborhood with a friend! Movement-enhancing exercises slow down bone loss from conditions such as osteoporosis. Inviting friends and family to exercise with you encourages their well-being and adds a social element to your workouts. Try chair exercises or chair yoga to improve strength and mobility if you have trouble balancing. 

Get Your Hearing and Vision Regularly Checked

It doesn’t take significant changes in your hearing and vision to trigger a fall. For this reason, you should schedule regular appointments with your doctor to have both checked. If you’ve recently gotten a new prescription for your glasses or hearing aids, take the time to get used to them and be patient as you slowly adjust to how they affect your functioning and movement. 

Be Aware of Medication Side Effects

Before you take new medications, it is crucial to educate yourself about how they are likely to make you feel. You will also want to inform your friends, loved ones, and caretakers about the potential side effects of your new medication. Contact your pharmacist or doctor immediately if you start feeling dizzy or disoriented after taking a new medication. 

Don’t Drink Too Much Alcohol

It is possible that even a little bit of alcohol may affect your sense of balance and judgment. Take your time when drinking alcohol and regularly assess how you feel before choosing to grab another drink. 

Take Your Time While Standing Up

As mentioned earlier, it is common for people’s blood pressure to drop when they stand up too quickly. When this happens, you may experience problems staying balanced. If this is your concern, have somebody check your blood pressure while standing and sitting down. By learning more about how your body reacts to certain positions, you will know what to expect when making movement changes. And remember to take your time standing up from a sitting or lying down position!

Make Use of a Device to Assist You While Walking

If you don’t already use a cane or walker to help with movement, it may be time to research how using one may enhance your quality of life. Ensure that the equipment you use is sized correctly and that its elements, including wheels and handles, function as they should. It is imperative to use assistive devices for walking when you need to pass through areas where the ground is not even. If you are not sure what kind of device is best for you, consider making an appointment to discuss your options with an occupational therapist. 

Keep Your Bones Strong and Healthy

The most common reason older adults go to the hospital is an injury due to falling. Often the damage is a fractured bone. You can keep this from happening by taking actionable steps to keep your bones strong and healthy. Refraining from smoking, limiting how much alcohol you drink, and watching your weight aid bone health. Because low bone density is the main reason for fractures during a fall, following these steps can significantly prevent additional damage if you have a slip or trip.

It’s Normal to Be Afraid of Falling

If you have had a fall before, you are not alone. In fact, most older adults will fall at some point in their lives. However, this does not mean that you need to avoid your favorite activities like walking, shopping, or going out to visit your friends. If you work to overcome your fear of falling, you will stay more healthy-minded and physically active. Gaining confidence around your physical movement will help you keep an optimal lifestyle and maintain your long-earned independence. The best way to overcome falling fears is to empower yourself by finding out more about fall prevention strategies. 

Take Action Today to Prevent Yourself From Making a Slip, Trip, and Fall

If you’re worried that you will have a slip, trip, or fall, it is important to know that you are not alone. Staying active, being up to date with medical care and aware of your medications, and becoming knowledgeable about assistive devices are all ways to remain confident and physically independent. 

If you find that movement and stability are continuing to challenge your daily lifestyle, you may want to think about researching what is available as the next level of care. If you are looking for an assisted living home where your comfort and care are a priority, consider moving in with us at Comfort and Love Senior Care Homes in Wichita, KS. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at 316-260-4330 with any questions.

We look forward to hearing from you!