6. Taking medication doesn't increase my risk of falling. Well, even though your doctor ordered the medication, it may increase your risk of falling. Medications affect people in many different ways and can sometimes make you dizzy or sleepy. Be careful when starting a new medication. If you're not able to read the fine print that comes on those flimsy warning sheets, be sure to ask the pharmacist about potential side effects or interactions of your medications. Then, act on #7!
7. I don’t need to get my vision checked every year. Truth is that vision is another key risk factor for falls. Aging is associated with some forms of vision loss that increase risk of falling and injury. People with vision problems are more than twice as likely to fall as those without visual impairment. Have your eyes checked at least once a year and update your eyeglasses. For those with low vision there are programs and assistive devices that can help. Ask your optometrist for a referral. You can hide wrinkles behind glasses, did you know that?
8. Using a walker or a cane will make me more dependent. Walking aids are very important in helping many older adults maintain or improve their mobility. However, make sure you use these devices safely. Have a physical therapist fit the walker or cane to you and instruct you in its safe use.
9. 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. They may want me to go to some home or another. Now don’t go all grouchy on me here. Fall prevention is a team effort. Bring it up with your doctor, family, and anyone else who is in a position to help. They want to help you maintain your mobility and reduce your risk of falling.
10. This is something you should read aloud to your kids, grandkids or a younger friend: "Don’t be afraid of hurting my feelings if you want to talk about my possible risk of falling. I’ll probably go all grouchy again, but we love each other and even if I don’t show it, I’ll be glad you care enough to talk to me. After we have a conversation, we could go to the theatre and listen to a lounge singer, OK?"
Ah Youth..."it's wasted on the young." or so intoned the lounge singer.