This September, which is Fall Prevention Month here in the U.S., is a great time for older adults to evaluate and try to lower their fall risk. Although one out of every four older adults will fall each year in the U.S., it’s important to know that falling is not a normal part of aging. Read below to learn what steps you can take to lower your personal fall risk.
- Learn your risk. Before knowing how to lower your fall risk, it’s a good idea to know what your risk actually is. Check out this assessment from the National Council on Aging. (Link to https://www.ncoa.org/article/falls-free-checkup)
- Exercise. An exercise program that incorporates balance, like Tai Chi, is a great option. Check out our event calendar for exercise classes that the SOWEGA Council on Aging provides.
- Medication Review. Some medications can have side effects like dizziness, drowsiness, or blurry vision, which can certainly increase your risk of falling. Talk to your doctor or a pharmacist about what medications you’re on and see if there is an option to adjust your dosage or even swap to a different medication if necessary.
- Remove tripping hazards. It may sound obvious, but look around your home for rugs or clutter that could be a tripping hazard. Marking the edge of stair steps with a strip of brightly colored tape is a great way to help yourself be aware of the steps even in low light.
- Check vision and hearing. Both vision and hearing issues can increase your risk of falling, so don’t skip your annual eye and hearing exams.
- Talk to your doctor. If you’ve fallen recently, often feel unsteady, and/or fear falling, talk to your doctor. Don’t wait for your doctor to bring it up first.