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Trips and falls can be particularly devastating for seniors. Fortunately, some simple tips can help keep elderly family members safe when they're on the go and at home, and prevent injury:
See your doctor for a vision assessment every year and pursue treatments that will correct any problems you discover. Poor depth perception can lead to problems navigating uneven or slippery terrain.
Healthy seniors who live at home should aim to participate in an exercise program at least twice a week to maintain strength and agility. (Always ask your doctor before starting any exercise program.)
Avoid ill-fitting shoes, which can increase your chances of falling on uneven or slippery surfaces and decrease your overall stability. Look for shoes with a rubber sole that offer good traction.
If you use a cane or a walker, make sure that the rubber tips are intact. Worn out tips can weaken the reliability of the device and even cause a fall. New rubber tips can be found at your local surgical supply store or drugstore.
Have your medications reviewed by a medical professional, especially if you are taking psychotropic medications. Be sure that dizziness or a lack of stability is not a potential side effect of the drugs you take.
Be careful leaving your home during dangerous weather conditions, such as heavy rain or snow, or when there is an accumulation of snow or ice on the sidewalks.
Assess your home environment and remove fall hazards, including unsecured area rugs, loose electrical cords, and items on the floor, like newspapers, slippers and other clutter.