Did you know — every second of every day External Site an older adult falls, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)? What's more, one out of every five falls results in a serious injury, such as a broken bone, wrist, arm, ankle or hip fracture. In fact, 95 percent of hip fractures, according to the CDC, are caused by falling.
As we age, bones weaken and falling down can cause broken bones, loss of mobility, and ultimately, loss of independence. But, you can take steps now to prevent falls.
Protect yourself now with these ten quick tips
- Remove things you can trip over (such as papers, books, clothes, and shoes) from stairs and places where you walk.
- Install handrails and lights on all staircases.
- Remove small throw rugs or use double-sided tape to keep the rugs from slipping.
- Keep items you use often in cabinets you can reach easily without using a step stool.
- Put grab bars inside and next to the tub or shower and next to your toilet.
- Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors.
- Improve the lighting in your home. As people get older, they need brighter lights to see well. Hang lightweight curtains or shades to reduce glare.
- Wear shoes both inside and outside the house. Avoid going barefoot or wearing slippers.
- If you own a pet, avoid potential risks. For example, avoid tripping over a resting dog or cat in the dark by installing nightlights in high traffic areas.
- See an eye doctor. Poor vision increases your risk of falling. Have your eyes checked once a year.
The link between hearing loss and falls
According to a John Hopkins study External Site, people with mild hearing loss are more at risk for falling. Researchers found that people with a 25-decibel hearing loss, classified as mild, were nearly three times more likely to have a history of falling. Every additional 10-decibels of hearing loss increased the chances of falling. That’s why it’s important to have your hearing checked regularly. The part of your inner ear that controls hearing also controls your balance.
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