Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for people 65 and older. In fact, more than one in four older adults fall each year. This makes falls a serious medical issue that you need to prepare for. Keep reading to get a closer look at what you need to do to get yourself prepared.
We have a tendency to view falls as somehow different than other medical issues. Maybe that’s because they’re usually considered accidents. However, just like with other medical concerns, there are steps that you can take to reduce your risks of falling.
According to a new CDC study, older adults who receive just a single intervention could prevent falls from occurring and avert the medical costs associated with them. Fall intervention can include medication management, home modifications, or even Tai Chi.
Medications tend to have more extreme effects on older adults than they do on younger people. This means that when an older adult takes a sedative or antidepressant, they’re more likely to feel dizziness or weakness than other folks.
If you currently take a medication that impacts your mobility, consider working with your doctor to start weaning yourself off it. Doing this could be all you need to protect yourself from falls.
Modifying your home is one of the most effective actions you can take to reduce your risks of falling. There are a variety of hazards that you may not realize have the potential to cause falls. Thankfully, the CDC has compiled a helpful checklist that you can use to fix these issues.
The checklist features a wide variety of home modification tips that can make a real difference. Simple things like keeping food on high shelves and even rugs on the floor can make falls more likely. Review the list to make sure your home is safe.
Studies have shown that exercise can help older adults reduce their risk of falling. One Stanford study found that Tai Chi can be especially helpful. This is because Tai Chi helps older adults with their strength and balance.
If Tai Chi isn’t your thing, that’s okay. Try to keep yourself active in another way. Doing so will protect yourself from the risks of falling.
Every older adult has a slightly different set of risk factors. The best way to protect yourself from falls is to make sure you understand your own risks. There’s no better way to do this than to consult with your doctor. You may even be able to use your Medicare health insurance to cover the costs of your office visit.
Medicare offers several resources that you can use to lower your costs. For example, you might be able to use your Annual Wellness Visit to create a gameplan for protecting yourself from falls. Your coverage may also include a risk assessment visit for falling.
Your specific options will depend on the type of Medicare health insurance you have. If you’re unsure about how your coverage applies here, consider reaching out to a partnered licensed agent at Time for 65. They’re the Medicare experts who can answer all of your coverage questions.