Health & Wellness > Maintaining Mobility

Maintaining Mobility / Preventing Falls

As we age, maintaining our mobility becomes increasingly important. Staying active and mobile can help prevent falls, which can have serious consequences for seniors, including broken bones, painful injuries such as back and neck strains, which often result in decreased independence. Here are some tips to help you maintain your mobility and reduce your risk of falling.

Make Modifications to Your Home: Making simple modifications to your home can also help prevent falls. Install grab bars in the bathroom, ensure that stairways and outdoor areas have good lighting, and remove any clutter or tripping hazards in your living space. You may also want to consider installing handrails or ramps to make it easier to navigate your home. Also consider what you can do outside your home to reduce the risk of falling, such as handrails along an uneven path. Consider hiring someone to level out areas in your walkway outdoors such as ensuring stepping stones are level.

Use rug pads or rug grippers: These are effective at preventing rugs from slipping and can help prevent falls. Rug pads are typically made of non-slip materials like rubber, latex, or felt and are placed between the rug and the floor to provide traction and stability. Rug grippers, on the other hand, are small adhesive pads that are placed underneath the corners of the rug to keep it from sliding.

Wear Appropriate Footwear: Wearing appropriate footwear is also important for maintaining mobility and preventing falls. Avoid shoes with high heels or slippery soles, and opt for shoes with good traction and support. Shoes with adjustable straps or laces can also help ensure a secure fit.

Manage Your Medications: Certain medications can increase your risk of falling. Talk to your doctor about any medications you are taking and ask if they could be contributing to your risk of falling. Follow your medication schedule closely and avoid skipping doses.

Get Regular Vision and Hearing Checks: Poor vision and hearing can also increase your risk of falling. Be sure to get regular vision and hearing checks, and wear glasses or hearing aids as prescribed.

Stabiity Support: If you are unsteady on your feet and need help to help prevent falls, consider purchasing mobility aids such as a cane or walker. These devices can provide additional support and stability, and can be especially helpful for seniors with balance or mobility issues. Don't be too embarrassed to use them, better to be safe than sorry and risk injury from a bad fall.

Use Transporation Services If you are having issues with neuropathy in your feet, having trouble seeing, or notice that you are having trouble with your legs or confusion, it may be time to consider giving up driving not only for your own safety but also to avoid causing an accident. You might wish to read our article on How to know when its time to stop driving. You can find also find transportation services that might be useful to use so you don't have to give up going to the places you enjoy.

Stay Active: One of the best ways to maintain mobility and prevent falls is to stay active and keep fit and healthy in retirement.. Exercise can help improve balance, strength, and flexibility, all of which are important for maintaining mobility. Ideally, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day, such as brisk walking, swimming, pickelball or yoga. If you prefer the convenience of working out at home, you might consider purchasing exercise equipment and make your own gym in a spare bedroom or garage. You might also consider trying a few recreational activities as a fun way of getting exercise and enjoy the great outdoors and socializing with others.If you are unsure about what type of exercise is best for you, talk to your doctor or a qualified fitness professional.

By following these tips and incorporating them into your daily routine, you can help maintain your mobility and reduce your risk of falling. Remember to talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have, and to stay active and engaged in activities that you enjoy. The trick is to try to keep moving, because as they say, use it or lose it!


Retired couple walking their dog along a forest path Photo by Seventyfour / Adobe Stock

seniors stretching Photo by Kampus Production / Pexels

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