Senior Living Blog

This Father’s Day, Talk to Dad About Fall Prevention

June 15, 2022

Every year since 1994, we’ve celebrated Men’s Health Month in June. Families are encouraged to make health a part of their Father’s Day celebration. It is a great opportunity to talk to Dad about his health habits.

One topic to bring up with Dad is fall prevention. Falls can be serious and costly for older adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury in seniors age 65 and older. Every year, more than one in four seniors has a fall, but only half of these older adults report their fall to a doctor. More than 95% of hip fractures are from falls. It is difficult to recover from a hip fracture, and experiencing one increases the chance that an older adult won’t be able to live on their own. Even falls that don’t result in serious injury can cause seniors to feel more afraid of physical activity, which results in a weaker body that is more susceptible to falls.

The good news is that there are many ways that men can take steps to reduce their risk of falling. Talk to Dad and encourage him to take some healthy steps to prevent falls:

Be honest with the doctor—If Dad has had previous falls, he needs to tell his doctor. Falling only once can double the risk of falling again. Encourage him to tell the doctor about any dizziness or balance issues, and to have his medications reviewed for complications or side effects that might increase his fall risk. He should have regular hearing and vision tests as well. And if Dad consumes alcohol, he should let the doctor know how much and how often. Alcohol can increase the risk of falling after “a few too many.”

Stay active—Any activity is better than none. Low-impact exercises like Tai Chi may help improve balance and strength, lowering the risk of falling. Walking and lifting light weights both help improve muscle strength. Dad should talk to his doctor about an exercise program that includes activities to build muscle strength, coordination and joint flexibility.

Inspect the home for fall risks—Many falls happen when an older adult stumbles over a loose corner of a throw rug, power cord or a pile of newspaper on the floor. Make home modifications that can reduce the risk of falls, such as grab bars in the shower or near the toilet, and handrails on both sides of the stairs. Ensure the home has adequate, appropriate lighting.

Get screened for osteoporosis—Osteoporosis, a potentially debilitating bone loss condition, is a not just a women’s disease. Although they are not diagnosed as much as women older men are also susceptible. Diagnosis can help them get treatment that can protect their bones and lower the risk of fall injury.

Source: IlluminAge

Categories: Senior Health