A: Each year, one in every three adults age 65 and older falls. These falls lead to reduced functions and premature loss of independence and often may indicate more serious underlying health problems. The National Safety Council offers the following tips to reduce falls among older adults.
• Ensure your home is well-lit and that walkways are clear of objects. Make sure clothing is properly fitted and cannot easily catch on something. Use a long-handled shoehorn if you have trouble putting on your shoes, and replace slippers that are loose.
• Be sure to get annual vision tests and physical exams. Have your blood pressure checked both lying down and standing up. Make sure walkers, canes and all medical equipment is properly sized and fitted by a qualified medical professional.
• Talk to your doctor about an appropriate exercise and diet regimen. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review all your medications, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and supplements. Some medications do not work well together and may affect your coordination and balance.
Falls or increased trips to the hospital can also indicate that it’s time to get extra help in the home. Organizations like HCI Care Services offer in-home assessments to see what kind of assistance may best fit your needs and goals.
To learn more, please call HCI Care Services at (515) 465-4705 or visit www.hcicareservices.org.