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15 Tips to Prevent Falls

The fear of falling becomes more common as people age, even among those who haven't fallen. It may lead to seniors avoiding activities such as walking, shopping, or taking part in social activities. Even if we are not seniors, we should take steps to reduce the risk of a fall. The good news is that there are simple ways to prevent most falls.


Here are 15 tips to reduce the risk of falling.


1. Tack down rugs to prevent tripping over the corners.


2. Install grab bars in toilets and showers, where needed for extra support.


3. Store away obstacles that can be tripping hazards such as clutter, rugs, papers etc.


4. Rearrange furniture because chair and table legs can cause tripping.


5. Ensure adequate lighting as vision plays a large part in balance and stability.


6. Good footwear with adequate tread and preferably closed-toed shoes that fit well are preferred. Thick soles, platform shoes or have a large toe box can cause stubbing.


7. Use a walking aid, such as walking poles, cane and walker, especially for outdoor walking or on uneven surfaces.


8. Perform regular strength and conditioning to improve leg and trunk strength.


9. Posture, balance and stability training is key to reducing fall risk and teaching strategies for maintaining balance in all situations.


10. Gait training corrects dysfunctions that might predispose a person to fall, such as a dropped hip or forward pelvis. An effective gait is also efficient, reducing energy requirements and fatigue.


11. Ensure adequate sleep and nutrition to avoid tiredness and low blood sugar levels.


12. Ask for physical assistance, someone to accompany you if you feel weak, tired, dizzy or ill.


13. Have your eyesight checked as vision is essential for staying upright and detecting obstacles, cracks in the sidewalk and other hazards.


14. Conduct a review of the medication you consume. Some medications have side effects of dizziness and low blood pressure which are possible reasons for falling. If you have low blood pressure, please seek treatment to avoid fainting and falling.


15. Get treated for dizziness unrelated to consumption of medication. Some causes of dizziness are BPPV Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, Cervicogenic dizziness, Meniere's disease, ear infection and motion sickness.


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