The Myths of Falling
As we age, falls may seem like an inevitable part of life. The truth is that falling is not a normal part of aging and can often be avoided! Simple steps such as enhancing our living environment and decluttering, along with exercise to improve safety – we have the power in our hands to prevent a fall from ever happening. However, before you start your prevention plan, it’s important to know which myths are not true regarding older adults falling and how you can safely fall proof your home: Here’s 5 tips on how aging doesn’t mean risking more frequent trips and slips!
5 myths of falls and older adults
Have you ever heard that older adults are more prone to falling? What about the belief that nothing can be done about it? These “myths” about falls are common in the aging process. But in truth, there are plenty of ways to guard against slip-ups and enjoy active lives. Let’s learn a bit more about some of these myths according to The National Council on Aging, as well as the realities behind them.
Myth: Falling happens to other people, not to me
Fact: Many people think, “It won’t happen to me.” But the truth is that 1 in 4 older adults fall every year in the U.S. Utilizing assistive devices such as installing grab bars in the bathroom and adding non-slip mats in tubs will substantially reduce your risk of falling.
Fact: Studies have shown that regular physical activity reduces the risk of falling among older individuals by helping increase muscle strength and improve balance, coordination, and strength.
Fact: Falling is not a normal part of aging. Strength and balance exercises, managing your medications, having your vision checked, and making sure your home has proper lighting especially during the night, are all steps you can take to prevent a fall.
Fact: Falls can happen to anyone, regardless of their physical strength or health status – often due to a combination of age-related changes as well as environmental factors such as poor lighting or slippery floors. Adding a floor to ceiling grab bar is essential for anyone who is looking for extra security and stability around the home.
Fact: Over half of all falls take place at home. Inspect your home for fall risks. Fix simple but serious hazards such as clutter, throw rugs, and poor lighting. Make simple home modifications, such as adding grab bars in the bathroom, a second handrail on stairs, and non-slip paint on outdoor steps.
It’s clear many misconceptions exist around falls and older adults; however by sticking with the facts you know what measures to take to stay comfortable and safe for your loved ones year round! For a full list of helpful tips on how to reduce falls check out our article “ don’t treat falls – prevent them with this checklist”