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Fall Prevention: Simple tips to prevent falls

Nearly one-third of older adults experience a fall each year. One out of 10 falls result in a serious injury, such as a hip fracture. We would like all of our senior residents to stay fit and healthy.

Here are some tips to help prevent falls:

1. Be Active; stay active! Physical activity can go a long way toward fall prevention. Consider activities such as walking or yoga. Classes
are being broadcast on Westminster’s in-house TV channel 1890. The courtyards are always available for walking; early mornings are best due to the increasing heat during the day. Amanda Bruner, Wellness Coordinator, can assist with exercise and gym equipment introductions.

2. Be Alert! See your physician, or the Westminster Wellness Clinic, for a medication review. Certain medications can increase your risk of falling, especially when interacting with other medications.

3. Wear appropriate shoes! Consider changing your footwear as part of your fall prevention plan. High heels, floppy slippers, flip flops and shoes with slick soles can make you stumble and fall. Walking in your stocking feet can cause you to slip on the floor/carpet of your apartment, consider buying some non-skid socks to wear.

4. Improve your living space! Remove throw rugs, boxes, electrical cords that can cause a fall. Improve the lighting in your apartment by placing night lights in your bedroom, bathroom and hallways. Add a lamp within reach of your bed for middle-of-the-night needs.

5. Use assistive devices! In addition to canes and walkers, use the handrails when going down steps, add grab bars and a raised toilet seat.

6. Therapy! Get a therapy order (from your MD or the Wellness Clinic) for evaluation of your gait if you are having trouble maintaining balance. The therapy department can assist you in offering options in modifying your apartment, reducing hazards and helping you navigate your world.

Westminster has the resources and visionary leadership to help enhance the lives and lifestyles of senior adults in Austin. We listen and learn from those we serve. For information about our independent living community, give us a call 512-298-5177.