How to Effectively Prevent Falls After Age 60

Feb 07, 2024
How to Effectively Prevent Falls After Age 60
As we get older, our risk of falls increases. This is a natural consequence of aging, but you can take steps to lower your risk of falling so you can prevent injury. Read on to find out!

Falling is a problem. Broken bones, head injuries, concussions, hip fractures — the list of bad things that can happen as a result of a fall goes on and on.

The risk of falling only increases as you get older. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that every second of every day, an older adult (65+) falls in the United States. This makes falls the leading cause of injury and injury death in that age group. 

If you can prevent a fall, of course, you don’t have to worry about the injury risk. At Phillips Family Medical, under the leadership of Pamela Phillips, FNP-C, one of our specialties is geriatric care, so we see injuries from falls among our patients frequently. Here are a few tips about how to effectively prevent falls after age 60.

Stay active

As we get older, our muscles get weaker and our balance gets worse. You can fight these effects by consistently following an exercise plan to build your strength and give you flexibility in your ligaments, tendons, and joints. 

You should focus on balance and strength-training exercises such as yoga, pilates, and weight lifting. As your strength and balance improve, the risk of a fall goes down because you’re better able to react to whatever situation you find yourself in.

Fall-proof your home

We feel comfortable in our homes, so we tend to move around quickly and easily without much thought about safety. The truth is our homes are filled with fall risks (slippery floors, bad lighting, wobbly railings, etc.), so you should take the time to assess your home for safety room by room.

To make it easy, here’s a list of the types of rooms in your house and the risks you need to look for and remediate if necessary.

Visit your doctor regularly

Staying current and regular on your doctor visits is vital as well. Conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and nerve problems can increase your risk of falling, as well as loss of muscle mass, blood pressure that drops when you stand up, and conditions that cause rushed movements.

The point here is that you need to make sure your doctor catches any health issue like these early so the problem can be treated before it causes even more issues and becomes harder to treat. Some medications can also cause dizziness as a side effect, so your doctor can warn you of this as well.

Have your sight and hearing checked

Even small changes in your sight and hearing can increase your risk of falls as well. Regular visits to the eye doctor and  a hearing center can help ensure you stay as safe as possible. If you get new glasses, contacts, or hearing aids, take the time to get used to them before any big activities.

Get help if you need it

You know your own body better than anyone. If you sense you’re becoming at greater risk for falls, talk to your doctor about what steps to take. Sometimes an assistive walking device such as a cane or walker can help, and a physical or occupational therapist can help you learn to use them correctly. 

Always tell your doctor at your checkup if you’ve fallen since your last visit as well. This can alert them that there may be a problem they need to investigate, especially if you don’t know the cause of the fall.

If you need guidance in any of these areas, our caring team at Phillips Family Medical is here to help. Just call our DeSoto, Texas, office at 972-861-1151 or use our easy online scheduler to book your own appointment anytime!