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Preventing Falls For Healthy Aging

Posted by Debby Franklin on Oct 18, 2017 1:07:17 PM

Fotosearch_k7427830 Couple in wheelbarrel.jpgFalls are NOT a normal part of aging!  Staying fit and active is the key to reducing, preventing and helping your body react to a fall in progress.  Preventing falls is critical to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  There are over 9 million visits to the emergency room annually due to falls.  Follow these simple fall prevention measures:

Light it upKeeping your home brightly lit will help to avoid tripping on objects.  Keep clear paths to light switches.  Always turn on lights before going up or down stairs.  Use night lights in the bedroom, bathroom and hallways.

Stay activeExercise is the key to healthy aging.  simple exercise like walking or aerobic activity for 20 minutes a day can help build muscle strength and improve balance, which can prevent falls.  Programs such as Jazzercise, Yoga, Palates, and Tai Chi are especially good to help increase strength and improve balance.

Conduct a home safety checkTake a look around your home and move items to make your home safer.  Look for things such as poor lighting, loose rugs, slippery floors, unsteady furniture, electrical cords, and uneven flooring.  Keep essential items on lower shelves and cabinets-get assistance if you need to reach things that are higher up.  The most hazardous place for falls is in the bathroom.  Install hand bars and non slip mats and consider a shower bench while bathing.

Schedule a yearly eye examSee your eye doctor once a year.  Age-related eye diseases, such as cataracts, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, can increase the risk of falling.  Early detection of eye issues is the key to safety.

Know the side effect of your medsTalk with your doctor or pharmacist about the medicines you are taking and whether they may cause drowsiness or dizziness.  Discuss things you can do to ensure that you are taking your medications safely.  Some of the medication that may increase the risk of falls are: Blood Pressure Pills, Heart Medicine, Diuretics, Muscle relaxants and Sleeping pills.

Just breathMany falls are caused by hurrying.  Slow down and think through the task you are getting ready to perform.  Be mindful of possible fall risks and act accordingly. 

Prevent broken bones if you fallTry to fall forwards or backwards, on your buttocks, because if you fall to the side you may break your hip.  Broken hips are usually a long hard recovery road.  Also use your hands or grab things around you to help break a fall.

Keeping your bones healthy is also critical in preventing broken bones.  Here are things to do to have healthy bones:

  • Get enough calcium and vitamin D each day.
  • Walk, climb stairs, lift weights, or dance on a daily basis.
  • Speak with your doctor about having a bone mineral density test so you know the strength of your bones.
  • Consider taking supplements to make your bones stronger.

If you or a loved one are recovering from a fall consult with Atlanta's most trusted source for Home Care since 1994, Easy Living Services.  Someone who is recovering from a fall injury can greatly benefit from an in-home caregiver.  Having help with things as simple as meal preparation, taking out the trash, picking up the mail, feeding and walking the family pets, can make all the difference in a speedy and successful recovery.  Having help while the body heals can ensure safety from an additional fall.  Staying safe, happy and healthy is everyone's ultimate goal. 

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