First, remember that just because you are getting older doesn’t mean you are going to fall. Many falls can be prevented by proper planning and preparation. We teach fall prevention classes to seniors all over the Twin Cities, and here are three of the most frequently asked questions:
1. What do I do if I fall and no one is around?
First, Always carry a cell phone. This allows you to call for help wherever you are.
Second, if the activity you are doing can cause a fall, call a friend or neighbor to let them know what you are doing. This way they know when to expect you back, and can send help if you don’t return when expected.
Finally, here’s a helpful video to help you think outside the box when it comes to recovering from a fall when no one is around https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ETgQD8QhZs
2. I am afraid I might fall “What do I do?”
First, learn more about falls and fall prevention. As we mentioned earlier, we teach fall prevention classes, called A Matter of Balance, and we are very encouraged by the confidence seniors gain from attending the class. Matter of Balance classes give seniors the tools to reduce the risk of falls, including exercises to improve strength and balance, a better understanding of fall risks, and the confidence to keep active and enjoying life. Information on classes is available from the Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging.
Second, do a thorough review of your home to eliminate fall hazards. Over time, it’s easy to get comfortable with those boxes in the hallway, or the lack of grab bars in the bathroom that you’ve grown accustomed to going without. There are a number of do-it-yourself fall hazard checklists online. We also are happy to provide a complimentary in-home fall assessment to help you on your way to reducing fall hazards in your home.
Third, review your current medications to determine if any of them could cause dizziness. Your local pharmacist can be a great resource in helping to understand which medications, or combinations of medications can increase the risk of falls.
Finally, check your eyes! An outdated prescription can increase your risk of falls so make sure you get your eyes checked on a regular basis.
3. How do I give my adult child peace of mind that I am ok to live independently in my home?
Your child is simply expressing their fear of the unknown, and how it might negatively impact your well being. Thank them for their concern, and then confidently walk through the steps you are taking to reduce fall risks in your home. Seeing that you are taking proactive steps to prevent falls, and that you have prepared for the worst, getting help if you do fall, can help alleviate your loved one’s concerns.
It is our mission at CareBuilders at Home to help seniors remain independent and in control of their lives. The key to independence is preventing falls, and staying active is an important component in fall prevention. Keep active…stay safe…remain independent!