When traveling, your mind is focused on exciting adventures, tantalizing scenery, and breathtaking surroundings. Falling is one of the last things you're thinking about, but it shouldn't be. Falls can happen at any time, and there are things about traveling that increase the odds of them happening. Older adults have a higher risk of falling, but learning how to avoid falls benefits travelers of any age. Whether you're traveling alone or with a group, taking the proper precautions to avoid falls helps make your trip one to remember instead of one you'd like to forget.
Adults over 50 are more prone to fall injuries than young adults, particularly when traveling. Why? Medications, illnesses, and disabilities that are common in older generations increase the likelihood of falls in general, but there are environmental factors present when traveling that increase this risk. If you're on holiday with a parent or grandparent, it's important to know what to do to help older travel companions avoid injury.
Traveling to different countries and cities means seeing and experiencing a lot of new things, which is why you travel in the first place. That said, not knowing your surroundings increases the likelihood of a fall because you're not sure what obstacles are in your way. At home, you know where the stairs are located and that one section of the sidewalk to avoid. When traveling, you're put into a new environment that can be a fall risk, particularly in low light.
There are plenty of reasons why you don't get enough sleep when traveling. Maybe you traveled far from home and are having a hard time recovering from jet lag. Plus, not only are you in an unfamiliar sleeping environment, but you're also too excited or anxious to sleep properly. As difficult as it may be, it's important to get enough rest when traveling. Exhaustion leads to sluggish movements, slow reactions, and difficulty concentrating, all things that can lead to a fall.
Bathrooms are particularly risky when it comes to falls. Polished tile, glossy stone, and wet floors are a bad combination. It helps to have a non-slip mat in the shower s well as a bathmat on the floor to stand on when you're drying yourself off. Look for any loose tiles or other hazards when you arrive and consider bringing a nightlight to find your way around the unfamiliar bathroom when it's dark.
As tempting as it is to be fashionable while traveling, skip the cute shoes and stick with something practical to help keep you on your feet. Avoid sandals, flip flops, or shoes that don't provide enough support. Instead, opt for something with non-skid soles and adequate support for both the foot and ankle. Choose a pair that are already worn in, as new shoes can cause pain and blisters.
One of the big things you can do to help avoid falls is to pay close attention to your surroundings. Remember, you're going to be sleepy, excited, stressed, and in an unfamiliar environment. In order to avoid falls during travel, make sure you pay particular attention to everything around you. When you're more tuned in to your environment you're less likely to fall.
You might be surprised at how much not drinking enough water affects you. It's easy to become dehydrated while traveling because you tend to drink less water than you do at home. Some of the symptoms of dehydration re confusion, dizziness, and fatigue. You can see why adequate hydration is important to prevent falls!
It's true that travelers over 50 have a greater chance of falling than younger travelers, but that doesn't mean you should take avoiding falls lightly. Falls can happen to anyone at any time. Younger travelers who take the same precautions as older adults when traveling are more likely to avoid injury. There are also some behaviors common in young people that lead to serious falls.
You know that you should be paying attention to your surroundings when exploring a new place, but the temptation to update social media statuses and send messages to your friends back home is hard to overcome. After all, you're in a cool new city doing interesting new things and you want to tell your besties all about it. Do yourself a favor and wait until you get back to your hotel. Not only are you missing all the new things happening around you, but walking while distracted by your smartphone can also have dangerous consequences, including falls.
Should you take photos of the amazing things you see while traveling? Absolutely, you need a record of this once-in-a-lifetime experience. To stay safe, though, skip the intense selfies. Never ignore signs that warn you to stay away from certain areas and don't do anything risky in an attempt to capture the perfect selfie--it's not worth the risk.
Believe it or not, there are ways to fall safely to avoid injuries that could cut your vacation short. Always protect your head by covering it with your arms when falling. Don't try to catch yourself when falling forward because it could lead to further injury of your arms, wrists, and hands. Also, try not to tense up and roll into the fall when possible.
Falls still happen even when you've done everything you could to prevent them. If you have a fall injury while traveling, it's important to seek medical attention. Make sure you inform the doctor of any medications you're taking, particularly if you're on blood thinners. If you're traveling with an older friend or family member, it's a good idea to have a list of their medications, too.