It’s true that seniors are more susceptible to slips and falls that can result in serious injury, but don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re safe as long as you’re under the age of 50. Slips and falls can happen to anyone, they can happen anywhere, and they can leave long-lasting health consequences, no matter how old you are.
The trouble is, many falls aren’t the fault of the person falling. Although you have the potential to collect damages as long as you aren’t over 50 percent to blame for the accident, it’s better to avoid the medical bills and lost wages in the first place. These five tips will help you do just that.
Wear the Right Shoes
One of the best things you can do for your feet is to wear the right shoes. Not only can the right walking shoes keep your feet healthy, they can also prevent you from falling.
If you have trouble staying steady on your feet, or if you plan on walking a long distance, it’s a good idea to avoid flip flops. They can make you lose your balance, and they can increase your chances of falling. If you want to wear sandals, choose sandals with a strap on the back.
It’s also a good idea to avoid heels, as they make it easy for you to twist your ankles. If you’re attending a formal event, keep your heels low, or choose a wedge that provides your feet with more surface area.
Straighten Out Your Posture
Most of us have really bad posture, and that bad posture can increase your chances of experiencing a fall. The proper posture ensures your center of gravity is balanced so you aren’t easily toppled when you do trip or slip.
Fixing your posture doesn’t have to be complicated. There are many exercises you can do, but you can simply imagine there is a string that runs through your body and pulls at the top of your head when you’re standing. When you’re sitting, instead of focusing on making your back straight, focus on sticking out your butt and your shoulders will naturally straighten. Do these two simple things and you’ll notice a difference in your posture and your balance.
Walk the Right Way
Did you know there’s a right and a wrong way to walk? If you drag or shuffle your feet when you walk, you are much more likely to trip over cracks in the sidewalk or shallow steps indoors. Walking on the center of your feet can make you more prone to slips.
Instead, walk by rolling your feet from heel to toe. It keeps your toes up off the ground, which can prevent tripping, but it also makes you more steady when you walk, so you’re less likely to slip, even if the sidewalk is slick.
Give Your Feet and Ankles a Workout
When you think of exercising, you probably think of the muscles in your arms, abs, and legs, but your feet and ankles deserve a good workout too!
Not only will exercising your feet and ankles help reduce pain that becomes increasingly common as we age, it can also increase flexibility and strength, which is important if you want to stay steady on your feet.
Many different exercises are easy to do, and they can even be done when you’re sitting down and working on the computer. Take off your shoes, point and curl your toes, splay your toes out in every direction, and try picking up marbles with your toes for a fun challenge. If you live near the beach, walking on the sand can be a great way to build strength in your feet and ankles.
Modify Your Home
Modifying your home is one of the best ways for seniors to stay on their feet, but even younger people can benefit from modifications, especially if there are children in your house.
A few fall-proofing tips include:
- Anti-slip stickers can keep you steady in the shower
- Hall lights can keep you from tripping when checking on the kids at night
- Handrails can help everyone walk up outdoor steps more easily
- Rugs that are secured to the floor can keep running children from slipping
Slips and falls can devastate a senior, but even young people can be injured by a fall! You can stay steady on your feet with the tips on this list, no matter what your age.