1) Wear the Right Type of Shoes
One of the leading causes of falls lies right under our noses, on our feet. When it comes to falls, specific shoes are more linked to severe falls than others. These shoes include:
- High heels
- Backless Shoes
- Loose or ill fitting shoes and slippers
- Shoes with smooth rubber or plastic soles
- Shoes with rubber tips or lug soles (like athletic footwear)
- Shoes with excess cushioning
Many seniors are surprised to learn that certain shoes that are usually considered safe are actually linked to more falls. In one study, 70% of seniors who experienced a fall were wearing either athletic shoes or loafers. These types of shoes, though considered sturdy, are more likely to cause falls on certain surfaces.
Smooth rubber or plastic soles are more likely to snag onto carpet, and be slippery on wood, tiles, and wet surfaces. Athletic footwear with rubber tips or lug soles also catch onto carpets, especially with people who tend to drag their feet. And shoes with too much cushioning can cause seniors to lose their balance.
The safest shoes to wear are walking shoes and shoes with light rubber soles. Wearing shoes with either cloth or elastic laces also allows for wearers to adjust the room in the shoe, allowing for a more comfortable and secure fit.
As people get older, many physical factors cause falls to become more serious. Muscles, especially in the legs, start to weaken. Seniors find it harder to maintain their balance, reflexes slow down, and bones become more fragile. While physical change is unavoidable, an active lifestyle can help build and maintain muscle and bone strength and can improve balance. Not only does regular exercise help prevent falling, it also helps prevent bone fractures and reduces fear of falling.
3) Review your medication
People who take more than four prescription medications are more likely to experience a fall. Certain medications can increase the risk of falling due to side effects, such as dizziness, unsteadiness, or confusion. Going over your medication with your doctor, especially if you feel they are causing any adverse side effects, can help eliminate some of the risks of falling. Of course, you should never change any of your medications without permission from your doctor.
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