Do you want to prevent falls?
Falls are a big issue in WA, and one of the leading reasons older adults are admitted to hospital. With one in three older Australians falling each year, they are common, but do not have to be. Falls are preventable and Injury Matters has some simple tips to help you stay on your feet®.
Falls can be caused by many things, from personal reasons such as medications or poor strength and balance to factors affecting your environment like unsafe steps or footwear. Move your body, improve your health, remove hazards are three steps to keep active and alert and prevent slips, trips and falls.
Move Your Body
Staying active helps your physical, mental and social health. It keeps your body and bones strong, improves your balance and flexibility, allows you react quickly and prevents falls. Try for 30 minutes of activities which improve your strength and balance most days to prevent falls.
Build Your Balance
Balance helps your body stay stable and controlled both when we are moving and standing still. To maintain and improve your balance try activities which challenge your balance like walking toe to toe in a straight line, Tai Chi or tennis.
Strengthen Your Legs
Keeping your leg muscles strong lets you do things you need every day, like getting up from a chair and climbing the stairs. Improve your leg strength by doing activities you enjoy like dancing and lawn bowls, group exercise classes like Prime Movers and activities around the house like gardening and vacuuming.
Improve Your Health
Looking after your health and wellbeing is essential to remain independent and healthy. It is important to be aware of your body and mind. If you notice any changes such as feeling dizzy, pain, drowsy or depressed, speak to your GP.
Check Your Medicines
Many people take more medications as they get older, so it is important to remember that medicines have side effects and these increase the more you take. Taking multiple medications and the long-term use of some medications, such as sleeping pills, increase your risk of falling.
Keep a Healthy Mind
Keeping your brain active is very important at all ages. There are many enjoyable activities that can help you keep your brain active, in and around your home or community. Joining a social club or group is fantastic for mental and social health.
Fuel Your Body
Fuelling your body with nutritious food keeps you healthy and strong. Eat healthy, regular meals from all of the food groups and make sure you are getting enough calcium and vitamin D to keep your bones and body strong. Avoid alcohol when possible and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Hazards inside and outside of your home increase your risk of fall, especially when combined with factors such as poor vision and unsafe footwear.
Make Your Home Safer
Hazards inside and outside of your home increase your risk of fall, especially when combined with factors such as poor vision and unsafe footwear. Remove loose mats, ensure you have enough lighting, clean up spills and keep your walkways and gardens clear to prevent falls.
Check Your Eyesight
As you get older your vision may start to change, or you may experience an eye disease. This can increase your risk of a fall and make daily tasks difficult. Be aware of changes to your vision and have your eyes tested regularly.
Wear Safe Footwear
Your feet support and balance your body each time you take a step. Foot issues, pain and poor footwear can cause you to lose your balance and become unstable, putting you at risk of a fall. Avoid walking in socks and always wear shoes that are flat, fit well and have good grip.
Move your body, improve your health, remove hazards are three simple things to remain healthy, independent and on your feet.
For more information to help you prevent slips, trips and falls call 1300 30 35 40 or visit www.stayonyourfeet.com.au.
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