How to prevent falls for you and your loved ones

How to prevent falls for you and your loved ones

Falls are one of the leading causes of injury, illness and death among the elderly population. More than 1 in 4 people over age 65 experience at least one fall a year, according to the National Institute of Aging.

But there are easy ways to minimize your chances of landing in the hospital.

“Knowing and addressing key causes is critical to prevention and reducing fall numbers,” says Brittany Giacinto, assistant clinical manager at Advocate Health Care who serves on the falls committee. “Even thinking before you or your loved one stands and walks can be enough to minimize a fall risk.”

Falls can happen because of underlying health issues that often come with aging, like slower reflexes, loss of balance, unstable gait, memory loss, muscle weakness, decreasing vision, blood pressure, osteoporosis and arthritis.

Suzie Ryer, a physical therapist and board-certified geriatric clinical specialist with Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care senior services, shares some tips to help reduce your risk of falls:

  • Do away with clutter: Remove things that may make you trip.
  • Know your medications: Some common medications can make you dizzy or sleepy, so it’s important to know the side effects of your medication and talk to your doctor if it’s a concern.
  • Move your body: Work on flexibility and coordination, both of which can help prevent injuries.
  • Focus on footwear: Do your shoes have a good grip? Rubber soles can help prevent slipping.
  • Check your eyes: Make sure to get your annual eye exam and that your prescription is current. Tint-changing lenses can be hazardous when coming inside and going outside, so be sure to let your eyes adjust or consider having two pairs of glasses.

“Falls are not a normal part of aging, and it’s never too early to understand your risk factors and take steps to reduce them,” concludes Ryer.

Do you have hip or knee pain? Take a free online quiz to learn more. 

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  1. Who do we (Advocate, I am en employee), recommend for a life alert system.
    Do we offer any from Advocate).

  2. Christine Garrick June 10, 2024 at 4:46 am · Reply

    Life Alert notifications that are trustworthy, but don’t cost an arm & leg

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.