WATCH: Maui Health offers tips on Senior Fall Prevention
MEDICAL MINUTE: Because of physical changes and health conditions, kūpuna are at increased risk of falling, which can cause serious injury, according to Maui Health.
Cameron Rogers, Injury Prevention Nurse for Trauma Services with Maui Health said, “Fortunately, there are things that you can do to reduce risk.”
Senior Fall Prevention tips:
- Talk with your doctor about your concerns for falling, especially if you’ve had previous falls or close calls. Go over any medications you might be taking that could have side effects that increase your risk of falling, and talk about alternatives.
- Get checked out for any health conditions that might be affecting your vision, mobility or balance.
- Stay physically active, or start a low-impact exercise program. Activities like walking or tai chi can improve your muscle tone and balance.
“If your falling is causing you to avoid exercise, you can work with a physical therapist to develop a safe program that’s right for you,” said Rogers.
“Sometimes people trip over objects because they can’t see them,” said Rogers. She suggests that actions can be done to prevent these types of falls.
- Make sure your home is well-lit, so you can see potential fall hazards. Add night lights around your bedroom, hallway and bathroom, so that you can move safely at night.
- While checking your home, look for potential obstacles like boxes on the floor, loose electrical chords, slippery rugs and plant stands. Move obstructions out of high traffic areas and repair loose flooring or carpets.
- Make sure you have a non-slip mat in the shower and in the bathroom; and get hand grips or bath seats if you need them.
- Consider replacing your rubber slippers or high heels with sturdy, more supportive footwear.
- Consider using assistive devices to help you get around. For example, a cane or walker can not only keep you safe, but can also help you stay active as you get older.
To learn more about fall prevention, and strategies to continue to stay active while reducing your risk for falls, sign up for the fall prevention classes offered by Maui Health. Visit mauihealth.org/fallprevention.