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Fall Prevention

Don’t become a victim

DON’T LET A FALL END YOUR INDEPENDENCE

KNOW YOUR LIMITS AND EXERCISE DAILY

older adults working out at the gym

OLDER BONES ARE LESS FLEXIBLE

And that means as we age, we’re more prone to broken bones. Most of us know this. But there is a misconception about older adults, broken bones and falls. Many of us believe that just because someone ages, that person tends to fall down more. The issue isn’t the falling – it’s what happens to older (and often more brittle) bones when someone who is older does fall.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that more than 20,000 older adults died from falls this past year. Men are 34% more likely to die from falls than women. Over 95% or hip fractures in older adults occurred due to a fall. And adults over 75 who fall, are five times more likely to be admitted to a long term care facility than those 65-74.

Here’s the good news about falls – many of them are preventable. It just takes a little preparation, and perhaps some modification, of your living space, to prevent many accidental falls.

Exercise

Regular exercise helps with coordination, balance, stamina, muscle strength, and cardiovascular fitness. You’re a lot less likely to fall at any age, if you improve these physical qualities.

To learn more about the importance of exercise in older adults, go here »

Make Your Home Safer

There are a wide range of things you can do to improve the way in which your home is used. This is particularly important if you’ve lived in your home for many years. What worked great when you were 40 may not work as well now that you’re 70. Many of these modifications aren’t expensive. In fact, most of them are more about common sense than anything else.

  • Wear sensible shoes – well-fitted, sturdy with non-stick soles. Avoid slip-ons and thick soles.
  • Reduce or remove tripping hazards like loose throw rugs.
  • Add grab bars inside and outside the tub or shower and next to the toilet.
  • Add railings on BOTH sides of the stairway.
  • Improve the overall lighting in your home, especially in hallways and stairways.

Health

Like regular exercise, regular medical exams, eye exams, and medication reviews are essential.

  • Vision – get your eyes checked annually. If you wear reading glass, or bifocals or progressive lenses, consider getting lenses that are single vision distance for activities like exercise or walking.
  • Medications – every time you take something new, whether it’s prescription or over-the-counter, make sure you consult your doctor of pharmacist about how that medication interacts with others you might be taking.
  • Diet – eat healthfully. It’s that simple.

Annual attention to all three issues is vital in keeping your body as youthful as possible.

Resources

The Fall Prevention Center of Excellence
National Center for Disease Control – Seniors
National Osteoporosis Foundation
Mayo Clinic – Healthy Aging

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