As you or your loved one get older, falls may be something that you have to plan for. Falls happen for many reasons – stiff joints, vision changes, illness or a medication that affects balance. So what can you do to help put your mind at ease and help ensure the safety of your family?
- Learn how to prevent falls and recognize causes of falls.
- Keep a list of emergency numbers near your phone in an easy-to-access spot.
- Put a plan in place that will allow you to call someone for help if you can’t get up. This includes using home monitoring systems that have a device you wear so you can press a button in case of an emergency. It’s important that this is worn 24 hours a day, even at bedtime when a significant amount of falls occur.
- Have someone check on you daily. No matter how many safety precautions you take, sometimes you may not be able to contact someone during an emergency. Have a family member or friend come to check on you on a regular basis.
What to Do When a Fall Occurs
- Stay calm. Try to relax your body to reduce the impact when you fall.
- If you have a home monitor, press the button to call for help, or use your phone if it’s within reach.
- Don’t rush to get up. Before you move, make sure you haven’t hurt yourself in any way. If you aren’t hurt, roll onto your side, and crawl over to the nearest chair. If you’re hurt, stay where you are until you can get help.
- Don’t dismiss the fall. Some injuries aren’t always visible. Have your doctor or other health care professional check to make sure you haven’t hurt yourself or that you didn’t fall because of an unknown medical reason.
Join the conversation. What are some of the things you do to protect yourself from falls? Tell us if you’re prepared in case of falls?