Falling can have serious consequences for older adults, sometimes leading to injury or hospitalization. Luckily, there are steps you can take to reduce your or your loved one’s risk of falling. Walking programs like Kindred’s Step On It or Safe Strides can help patients improve their balance and overall health and reduce the risk of falls.

image of woman walking to stay strong and balanced

Why should you continue to exercise as you get older?

Our bodies are designed to move. As we get older, making regular exercise a habit helps us maintain our balance and our independence. Exercise helps us stay healthy and reduces our risk of falls. Exercise can also:

  • Increase energy levels
  • Help with sleeping problems
  • Improve muscle strength and flexibility
  • Keep bones strong
  • Help normalize blood pressure, blood sugar levels and weight
  • Help you feel good about life

What else can you do to reduce fall risk?

There are several precautionary measures you can take to ensure you or your loved one are taking the necessary steps to reduce fall risk.

  • Studies show that older adults who use four or more prescription medications daily are at elevated fall risk. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about how to master your medications and the best way to take them to avoid dizziness.
  • Have your eyesight checked once a year. If you wear glasses, have your glasses checked out at least every two years. By age 65, we need three times more light to see than we did at age 20, our eyes take longer to adjust to lighting changes, and it’s harder to judge depth and distance.
  • Wear rubber-soled, slip resistant, low-heeled shoes with lots of cushion and support.
  • Assess your home for fall risks. As a part of the Safe Strides program, a certified clinician will come into the home and provide a thorough assessment. Talk to your doctor about a home safety checklist you can use to assess your home for fall risks, and suggestions for how to mitigate them.
  • Look into an alert system in case of an emergency. If you do fall and are hurt, you can press your emergency button to contact the response team.

Just as moving is an essential part of staying healthy, so is the avoidance of falls. If you have questions about the Step On It or Safe Strides programs, or general fall risk questions, call 1.866.KINDRED to speak to a Registered Nurse 24 hours a day, seven days a week.