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Preventing Vision Related Falls

October 2, 2021
by TammyS | For Seniors

Preventing Vision Related Falls

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Seniors with impaired vision may have other illnesses such as heart problems, diabetes, and possible strokes,  which also increase their risk of falling.  They may also be socially isolated and take on tasks they should not perform alone, or at all.

Falls from vision impairment is one of the most common fears for older adults.  And if you are afraid of falling, you are not alone.  However, most falls can be preventable.  Tips for reducing the risk of falls and slowing the progression of vision impairment may help reduce the risk of injury to seniors.

Maintain your vision health and have your vision checked regularly and update your eyeglass prescription as suggested by your optometrist.  Get a dilated eye exam at least once a year to reduce the risk of irreversible vision loss.

Talk to your doctor about evaluating your risk for vision impairment and/or falls and how to best prevent them.  Health care providers should review medications periodically to see if side effects, such as drowsiness or dizziness, could increase the risk of falls.

Vision related falls is one of the leading causes of fatal injuries in the elderly.  So, make the home safer by doing the following:

  • Remove throw rugs or use double-sided tape to keep rugs from slipping.
  • Make sure all rooms and hallways are well lit and have easily accessible switches or motion sensor lights.
  • Install handrails on stairs and grab bars in the bathroom and/or shower and in other frequently used rooms.
  • The bathroom might be the most dangerous room in your house so:
    • Install grab bars
    • Use non-slip bathmats
    • Use nightlights
  • Declutter all walkways and make sure they are well lit.
  • Wear well-fitting shoes and slippers with good rubber soles.
  • Avoid burns – do not turn pot handles outwards on stove where you may not see them and accidentally tip and pot or pan over.  Do not wear loose clothing when cooking and never leave cooking food unattended.
  • Keep items you use regularly on lower shelves where they can be easily seen and accessed.
  • No extension cords, if possible.  Especially none across walkways.
  • Avoid furniture with sharp, potentially dangerous corners or edges.

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