4 important steps to avoiding falls


March 15, 2011

A new campaign aimed at seniors, Finding Balance, has been launched in Alberta, Canada, in order to better prepare older adults for navigating the icy sidewalks of late winter and early spring, according to The Edmonton Journal. Here are some of the most important steps, as listed by the Alberta Medical Association (AMA):

1. Evaluate Medications. Some medications can be responsible for side effects such as dizziness or nausea. This can make it harder to keep one's balance, which makes falls much more likely. Seniors should have a doctor review all of the pills they are taking.

2. Exercise. One of the most effective ways to improve balance is to keep active during the golden years. Try walking a few times a week or practicing yoga or pilates to strengthen core muscles used in coordination.

3. Install Medical Alert. While this step isn't listed by the AMA, it can be important to have a way to send a medical alarm to doctors or caregivers if one needs assistance.

4. Don't Rush. If older adults are careful and pay attention to their surroundings, there is less of a chance that they will fall.