Falling is not an inevitable result of ageing but the risk of falling does increase as we get older.
Eye sight will naturally deteriorate as we get older and this will increase the risk of falling. Visual impairment due to an eye condition such as Cataract, Glaucoma or Macular Degeneration will further increase the risk.
The following tips will help reduce the risk of injury from falling:
Have regular eye examinations
Eye exams are free for everyone over 60 years of age. Regular eye exams are important so that we can assess your vision and the health of your eyes. Many eye diseases can be prevented or controlled if detected as early as possible. Delaying eye exams can lead to eye conditions going undetected and irreversible sight loss.
If recommended by your Optician, new glasses will give clearer vision resulting in better detection of fall hazards.
Make good use of lighting
At age 60 we need 3 times more light to detect objects compared to when we were 20. Always keep a lamp within reaching distance of your bed and turn on all lights when entering a room. Make sure stairs are well lit before attempting to climb or descend.
Have your glasses fitted properly
Attend an Optician who will spend time advising on frame choice and fit your glasses properly. Poorly fitted glasses may slip resulting in blurred vision and increased fall risk. This is particularly important if you are a bifocal or varifocal wearer. Reading glasses must be taken off when walking.
Look out for steps
When walking outside always look down every few seconds to scan for hazards such as steps. Don’t just presume the ground is flat. Always drop your head to look at a step through the top part of the lens to reduce magnification when using bifocals/ varifocals. If you wear bifocals we may recommend an additional pair of single vision distance glasses for outside use, walking and stairs.
Wear sunglasses on bright days
Elderly people are more susceptible to glare from the sun. Glare can cause fall hazards to be missed so it is important to wear sunglasses on bright days. Ask for polarised sunglasses for increased glare reduction.