According to an article written in the New York Times, “Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults. Every 19 minutes in this country, an older person dies from a fall.”
Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is committed to educating our community’s senior citizens on how to prevent falls. Here are some quick tips to help seniors stay safe.
Your body needs to be active to stay healthy. The benefits of movement far outweigh the safety of inaction. Exercise ensures healthy joints, balance, endurance, and strength.
Always ask your doctor what your prescribed medications’ side effects are. If certain medications do make you dizzy, let your physician know. Be sure to read labels, check expiration dates, and follow all instructions carefully. Your diet may also affect how you feel on certain drugs. Make sure you keep a list of all the medications you are taking and bring it with you to each doctor that you visit.
Maintain your eye health by seeing an eye doctor for checkups as recommended. Doing so can reduce your risk of developing age-related eye diseases such as cataracts. If diagnosed with cataracts, removing them may reduce your risk of falling. Be extra cautious after having cataract surgery, as there is a chance your vision will change.
The four most common areas of the home where falls occur are the stairs, the bathroom, the living room, and the bedroom. Stairs should be clear of clutter and well lit. When going up and down the staircase, make sure you hold on to the banister for extra support. Grab bars should be installed near the bathtub or shower stall to prevent slipping. The living room should be well lit, clear of clutter and have wide unobstructed pathways to get around. When getting out of bed, take your time to adjust to sitting and standing slowly. Do not rush.
Ask for Help
There is no shame in asking for help from others. When riding the bus, ask for a seat. If you need to change a lightbulb have a neighbor, friend, or family member help out. If you need a ride to get to the doctor, there are many resources available to you to do so safely. Let others know where you are and what you’re doing often, especially if you are living alone.
To receive more information on Falls Prevention, please visit Jamaica Hospital Trauma Department’s Injury Prevention page https://jamaicahospital.org/clinical-services/trauma-center/injury-prevention/
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.