Falls are not a normal part of aging. You can protect yourself by exercising, managing your medications, having vision checked, and making your living environment safer. Below are the 10 myths of older adults and falls.
- Falling happens to other people, not to me. Reality: 1 in 3 older adults fall every year in the U.S.
- Falling is something normal that happens as you get older. Reality: You can prevent falls by following protective guidelines.
- If I limit my activity, I won’t fall. Reality: Remaining active increases strength and range of motion.
- As long as I stay at home, I can avoid falling. Reality: You need to make home modifications because over half of all falls happen in the home.
- Muscle strength and flexibility can’t be regained. Reality: It’s never too late to start an exercise program. Exercise can partially restore strength and flexibility.
- Taking medication doesn’t increase my risk of falling. Reality: Potential side effects or interactions can affect people in many different ways, including dizziness and sleepiness.
- I don’t need to get my vision checked every year. Reality: Poor vision is a key risk factor for falls; those with vision problems are more than twice as likely to fall.
- Using a walker or cane will make me more dependent. Reality: Many older adults maintain or improve their mobility with a walking aid; if used properly it increases independence.
- I don’t need to talk to family members or my health care provider if I’m concerned about my risk of falling. I don’t want to alarm them, and I want to keep my independence. Reality: Fall prevention is a team effort; engage anyone who is in a position to help.
- I don’t need to talk to my parent, spouse, or other older adult if I’m concerned about their risk of falling. It will hurt their feelings, and it’s none of my business. Reality: Check their vision, remove hazards, offer support, and share your concerns; make it your business. https://www.ncoa.org/healthy-aging/falls-prevention/preventing-falls-tips-for-older-adults-and-caregivers/debunking-the-myths-of-older-adult-falls/
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