Guide

Home > Elder Care Guide

5 Tips for Preventing Slips and Falls in the Elderly

Slipping and falling is the number one cause of death and injury among the elderly. Yes, it is that serious. Even if there are no major risks around the home, the muscles and bones can simply give out and cause a fall. And because your body is already vulnerable, these falls can result in serious injury. One of the most common places that slips and falls occur is in the bath – one of the worst places, because the ground is so hard and can cause broken bones or worse. This is why it is so critical to learn how to prevent these slip and fall injuries in the first place. Here are five tips for preventing slips and falls in the elderly.

  1. Practice your balance. This is critical for the elderly, because it will help you with some of life’s daily tasks, like walking down stairs or over uneven terrain. One of the best ways to practice balance is to take yoga classes specifically designed for the elderly. In fact, you may even want to get a yoga mat for your home, so that you can practice in the comfort of your own home. You may also want to lift weights and swim. Anything low-impact that focuses on mental acuity is vital when it comes to maintaining good balance.
  2. Have the right foot support. If you are having mobility issues and falling is a serious risk, you will definitely have to say goodbye to your heeled loafers or high-heeled shoes. It is time to stick to comfortable sneakers – something that has padding, keeps your ankles in line and has good tread. There are many sneakers that not only look stylish, but they also do a great job of keeping you upright and sturdy.
  3. Visit a geriatric orthopedics center. It is critical that you catch major issues before they become serious problems. When you are past a certain age, it is the little things that can really limit your mobility and freedom – they can also drastically reduce your quality of life. So, you want to make sure that you take measures to catch major diseases and conditions in their early stages. This is why visiting a center, like the Texas Orthopedics Sports & Rehabilitation Associates, is so important.
  4. Make sure that your home has plenty of light. Making sure that your home is well lit is one of the easiest ways to prevent slips and falls. If you are a senior living alone, this is especially important. Knowing exactly where hazards are will prevent you from tripping over them. As a senior, even the coffee table can become a serious hazard that you want to avoid.
  5. Place plastic grips in your shower and bath. There is a good chance that your shower or bath is particularly slippery – what bath isn’t? If this is the case, you may want to think about installing a handgrip or rail. You may also want to place a non-slip mat at the bottom of the tub. In the end, even a simple bath can become dangerous, because you can easily slip and fall when trying to get out. The last thing you want is to be stuck without help.