Slips and falls can happen to anyone. Hopefully, we’re able to get back up with little more than a bruise or a scratch. But as people get older, falls can have much more serious consequences. For older adults, falls are one of the leading causes of hospital stays and serious injuries.
1) Clear all pathways.
Inside the home, remove clutter from hallways and rooms to help reduce the risk of tripping on something. If you need to walk over rugs, fix them to the floor with backing. Outside the home, make sure walkways are cleared of snow and ice in the winter months.
2) Install good lighting.
Proper lighting is key, especially if you live with sight problems. If possible, put lighting on a timer to automatically turn on at a certain point in the evening so your pathways are well-lit.
3) Wear clothes and shoes that fit well.
Clothing shouldn’t drag on the floor or make it hard to walk. Your shoes should fit well and properly support your feet, especially if you have trouble walking, or live with conditions that affect your feet, such as diabetes.
4) Manage your medications.
Some people who take more than one medication run the risk of falling if they sit up or stand too quickly. To help prevent dizziness or fainting, remember to rise slowly from a sitting to standing position to help your blood pressure adjust. Talk to your doctor about how your medications might impact your risk of falling.
5) Use medical equipment properly.
Many older adults need durable medical equipment, such as canes, walkers, or wheelchairs to help them move around at home.
Fidelis Care Medicare and Dual Advantage members may qualify for services that can help assess your risk of falling, keep your home free of falling risks, and help you live more independently. If Fidelis Care Medicare and Dual Advantage members have questions about these resources, please call 1-800-247-1447 (TTY: 711) to speak with a Representative over the phone, or arrange an in-person meeting.