Falls can be serious at any age! A misconception is that falling is a normal part of aging! According to the Ohio Department of Health, "falls are NOT a normal part of aging"! Exercise is vital in reducing and preventing the risk of falls in all age groups. Staying fit and active is the key to helping your body react to a fall in progress. Prevent falls with these simple fall prevention measures:
Increase Physical Activity - Simple exercise like walking or swimming at least 15 minutes a day can help build muscle strength and improve balance, which can prevent falls. Exercise programs such as Jazzercise, Yoga and Tai Chi are especially good to help increase strength and improve balance.
Schedule a Yearly Eye Exam - See 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.
Keep Updated on your Meds - Talk 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 you are taking your medications safely. Some medicines can make you feel dizzy, confused, or slow. Medicines that may increase the risk of falls are: Blood Pressure Pills, Heart Medicines, Diuretics, Muscle relaxants and sleeping pills.
Conduct a Home Safety Check - Do a walk through around the house to look for anything that could increase the risk of falls. Look for poor lighting, loose rugs, slippery floors, and unsteady furniture. Keep essential items on lower shelves and cabinets-get assistance if you need to reach items higher up. Consider night lights in dimly lite areas and install lights along stairways so that each tread is visible. The most hazardous place for falls is in the bathroom. Bathing can be safer by installing hand bars and non slip mats. Remove or modify any safety hazards within and outside of the home.
Slow Down - Many 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.
How to Prevent Broken Bones if you Fall:
Sometimes you cannot prevent a fall. If you do fall, you can try to prevent breaking a bone. Try 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. You can also use your hands or grab things around you to help break a fall.
How to Keep Bones Healthy:
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 (BMD) test so you know the strength of your bones.
Speak with your doctor about taking medicine to make your bones stronger.
Falls are one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in the United States accounting for approximately 8.9 million visits to the emergency room annually. Falls and the resulting injuries can diminish the ability to lead active, independent lives. Someone who is recovering from a fall injury can greatly benefit from Home Care assistance provided by 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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