While many tactics for preventing falls are things you can do around the house today (streamlining clutter, securing rugs, or repositioning furniture, for example), some of the smartest choices you can make to keep yourself safe require a little bit of scheduling. Maintaining a consistent schedule of checkups with your healthcare providers can be as important for preventing falls as tending to the risk factors in your home.
Prioritizing the finer points of your health can help ensure your body is in the best shape to avoid a potentially life-threatening fall. But where should you start?
3 Checkups to Prevent Falls You Should Schedule Today
Eye Exam: Poor or declining vision can be a substantial trigger factor to falling. Maintaining your eye health and wearing the necessary corrective lenses with an updated prescription can help you avoid hard-to-see hazards (like a wrinkle in the rug or a stray power cord) that could cause a fall. Your eyesight should be checked at least once a year to make sure your glasses or contacts stay up-to-date. Even if you’re someone who has never needed corrective lenses in the past, it’s common for eyesight to decline as we age. Staying on top of your checkups helps you to know when a change might need to be made.
Hearing Test: Hearing loss may increase your risk of falling by making you less aware of your surroundings. Even mild hearing loss nearly triples your chances of suffering a fall. The risk increases as the severity of hearing loss increases, so making an appointment to have your ears checked is an important element of maintaining your safety. Being comfortable in your environment is a key factor to preventing falls, and healthy hearing can make you feel more secure.
Balance Assessment: It shouldn’t come as any surprise that poor balance is a significant risk factor for falls. However, the problem is many older adults don’t recognize the signs of compromised balance. Even highly active adults can have balance difficulties that could lead to a fall. Luckily, balance is something that can easily be improved upon with a simple set of exercises. To determine whether your balance is in need of improvement, schedule a balance assessment. If you are at risk of falling, a physical therapist can help get you on an exercise schedule specifically designed to benefit balance.
Keeping track of necessary appointments is important for maintaining your long-term health. So what are you waiting for? Make today the day you pick up the phone to schedule your checkups!
Do you also struggle to keep track of your medication schedule? Download our free guide outlining tips for better medication management here!