June is National Safety Month, and Lake Norman Regional Medical Center’s Senior Extra program has some suggestions to stay safe at home.
Tripping and falling may not seem like a serious matter, but it can be for older adults. Injuries from a fall can negatively impact your health, independence and quality of life. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 3 adults age 65 and older fall each year in the U.S.
Focus on prevention
You can help reduce your risk by incorporating a few healthy habits into your lifestyle:
• Engage in regular exercise that develops balance and lower-body strength, such as walking, yoga, tai chi and water workouts.
• Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your prescription and over-the-counter medications to identify those that can cause drowsiness or dizziness.
• Visit an eye doctor at least once a year to update prescriptions and maximize your vision.
• If falling is a real concern, consider wearing an alarm device to assure you’ll have immediate assistance in the event of a fall.
• Discuss getting enough calcium and vitamin D with your doctor, and consider doing weight-bearing exercises to help slow bone loss and improve balance.
Safety begins at home
According to the National Council on Aging, more than half of all falls take place at home. The health care team at Lake Norman Regional Medical Center offers some tips for ridding your home of potential hazards to help you lower your risk:
• Clear all walkways of stray cords and furniture.
• Make sure all rooms are well-lit.
• Indoor and outdoor stairs should be in good repair and free of things one might trip over, including loose carpet, and make sure there are easy-to-find light switches at the top and bottom of the stairs.
• Arrange kitchen items so they’re within reach.
• Ensure bathrooms are safe with non-slip mats and support bars.
Source: Lake Norman Regional Medical Center