Falls are troublesome at any age but especially for older adults. The CDC estimates that more than 800,000 people land in the hospital due to an injury from a fall. Since falls can cause traumatic injury and long term damage, it’s best to avoid them altogether. Here are 5 tips to help keep you safe and avoid falling.

1. Do a health screening with your doctor

Your doctor can check you for and identify underlying health conditions. Ask your doctor about medication side effects that may impact your vision or alertness. Be especially careful with sedatives and antidepressants. Talk to your doctor if you experience dizziness or shortness of breath, as these can increase your chance of falling. Lastly, have your eyes and ears tested. If needed, wear glasses and hearing aids when you move around.

2. Keep moving

Exercise is a great way to reduce your risk of a fall. Physical activity improves both your strength and balance. Try activities such as walking, jogging and weight lifting. Be sure to wear supportive shoes that fit appropriately. 

3. Limit alcohol consumption

Alcohol is known to impair vision and judgment. Since it may increase your risk of tripping or falling, it is bes to limit how much you consume to avoid unnecessary falls or injuries.

4. Remove hazards

Pick up loose items on the floor, especially in walkways or heavily trafficked areas of the home. Secure rugs and loose flooring to avoid tripping hazards. Clean up spills right away. Use shower and bathtub mats to prevent slipping. Avoid walking on wet floors inside and icy or snowy ground outdoors as they make it easier to slip and fall.

5. Adequate lighting

Make sure your home has enough lighting throughout. Keep paths near light switches clear to avoid tripping on foreign objects in the dark. Use nightlights in dark rooms such as bathrooms and kid’s rooms. Keep flashlights handy for when lights go out unexpectedly. Lastly, always turn on the lights before going up or down the stairs and use handrails for extra support. 

Follow these tips to keep yourself and your loved ones safe and reduce the risk of a fall. If you do fall and need an X-ray, please reach out to us at 410-788-4256 or dilo@palmdiagnostics.com. For more great tips, visit us here.

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