Falls are the number one cause of injuries for senior adults. Senior care experts offer the following advice for preventing falls:
- Exercise can help strengthen calves and ankles. While holding onto a chair or other support, alternate between knee bends and raising on tiptoes. Repeat this 10-15 times. There is a class at University Village 2-3 times weekly that teaches this and many other beneficial exercises for improving balance.
- Clean up clutter and remove trip hazards. Remove extension cords, low furniture and items such as shoes from pathways. Try to keep shoes in a closet or bin used especially for that purpose. Ask caregivers to help in returning shoes to this location.
- Install grab bars and handrails in appropriate areas. If raising or lowering in the bath is an issue, or transferring from wheelchair to bed, these are good spots for additional support.
- Lighting can help in avoiding trips and falls. Use brighter bulbs if necessary and add night lights to baths and hallways.
- Wear supportive and well-fitting shoes. Slipper, flip-flops, and shower shoes may not be a good choice for everyday use. Non-slip soles on shoes and socks may also be beneficial.