Did you know that every 11 seconds in the U.S, an older adult is admitted to the hospital because of a fall? It’s the number-one cause of injury for those older than 65, and can lead to hip fractures, traumatic brain injuries and broken bones. Furthermore, it carries a hefty price tag—the CDC estimates that the average cost of treating a fall runs around $30,000.

However, with a few preventative measures, you can cut back on your risk of experiencing a fall. In light of National Falls Prevention Week, here are four tips on ways to actively prevent those dangers.

Stay active

Many older adults stop exercising because they experience a decrease in their mobility through sarcopenia, or age-related muscle loss. Low-impact exercise such as Tai Chi can help restore muscle mass and mobility, which is key in fall prevention. Many gyms and senior centers also offer balance classes, which can help re-train the muscles responsible for stability. Another option is the Otago Exercise Program, an evidence-based falls prevention training prescribed by a physical therapist.

Consult your doctor about whether your medications put you at risk

A study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that drug use among older adults has increased in the past few decades. That means more older adults are experiencing side-effects, such as dizziness and loss of balance, which can lead to a fall. Some over-the-counter sleep aids are especially notorious for this, so consult your doctor if you have trouble sleeping at night. Sleep disorders can be caused by a number of factors, including sleep apnea. Johns Hopkins Pharmaquip carries sleep apnea therapy products in our online catalog, including CPAP and BiPAP machines.

Practice fall prevention at home

Make sure there aren’t any objects on the floor that you can trip on, and that your rooms are well-lit. The bathroom is one of the top culprits when it comes to falls among older adults. That’s one of the reasons why we carry bath safety products in our online catalog. Things such as bath mats and grab bars can go far in keeping you from taking a tumble.

Have your vision checked periodically

As we age, less light enters our retina, making obstacles, tripping hazards and contrasting edges harder to see. If you do wear glasses, make sure that your prescription is up-to-date. Avoid tint-changing lenses, as these take a while to adjust to your environment and can pose hazards. Johns Hopkins Home Care Group is dedicated to helping patients remain independent and healthy as they age. Visit our website for a list of services we can provide. You can also visit Johns Hopkins Pharmaquip’s online catalog for more items that can keep you mobile and safe in your home.

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