Before the Fall: Take these Steps to Stay Safe

Before the Fall: Take these Steps to Stay Safe

You’ve heard the old saying: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It may not apply to everything, but when it comes to avoiding a fall, a little prevention goes a long way.

Each year, one in four people   over age 65 takes a nasty tumble. Sometimes a fall can cause serious injury. Even if it doesn’t, a fall can make people afraid they will fall again. As a result, they may move less and experience a decline in their physical fitness. Moving less can actually increase a person’s risk for falls.

Fortunately, there are easy steps you can take to prevent falls.

Be Safe at Home

A few minor changes can help make your home more fall-proof.

  • Toss things that slip and slide. Use non-slip rugs. Tack or tape down non-slip carpets to secure them in place.
  • Clear the clutter. Move furniture to create a wide, clear path. Avoid leaving things like books, boxes or clothes on the floor. Place power cords and wires close to the wall and tape them down.
  • Make stairs safe. Repair broken and uneven steps. Install a handrail for extra stability. Add a no-skid strip to uncarpeted stair treads.
  • Reorganize your kitchen. Place things you use the most on lower shelves. Avoid using a step stool to stretch or climb to reach dishes, cookware and food items.
  • Fix up the bath. Add grab bars in the tub and by the toilet. Choose no-skid mats for the bathroom floor and bottom of the tub. Add nightlights for better visibility.
Be Safe Away from Home

These five tips could help prevent a fall when you are out and about.

  • Stay fit. Exercise to keep your muscles strong and toned. They help maintain good balance, which help prevent falls.
  • Protect your bones against osteoporosisKnow your bone density test score. Talk with your doctor about ways diet, medications and exercise can help keep your bones from becoming thin and brittle.
  • Know your medications. Review all the prescription and over-the-counter drugs you take with your doctor or pharmacist. Know which ones may make you feel dizzy or drowsy and boost your risk for a fall.
  • Add extra support. Wear non-stick rubber-soled shoes indoors and out to prevent slipping. Use a cane or walker if you need extra stability.
  • Keep your pets out from underfoot. Train larger pets not to jump or pull when you walk them. Track smaller pets by placing a small bell on their collar so you know where they are.

Here’s some great news for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma Medicare Advantage members: If you have a Fall Risk Assessment, you may qualify for a $25 gift card through our Rewards and Incentives program  Visit the Healthy Activity Portal* to learn more.

Source: Important Facts about Falls  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017.
*The Healthy Activity Portal is a website owned and operated by HealthMine, Inc., an independent company that provides digital health and personal clinical engagement tools and services for Blue Cross Medicare Advantage members.
Registration is required to participate. Visit www.BlueRewardsOK.com   to register and see what Healthy Actions earn rewards. Maximum annual rewards of $100 in gift cards. One reward per Healthy Action per year. Healthy Action dates of service must be in the current plan year.  Healthy Actions that earn rewards are subject to change.
Important Information 
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Originally published 10/13/2018; Revised 2021

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