Seniors a simple thing like a fall could change your activity level and your life. Tripping on a rug or slipping on a wet floor maybe all it takes to fall and break a bone. A broken bone may not sound awful, but for many older Americans it can be the start of more serious problems, and decrease your activity level. A fall could result in a broken hip, and the need to be hospitalized, and then rehab. A fall that results in a broken hip can have you laid up for 3 months or more. There are thousands of men and women every year who fall and break a bone. In addition, do not let the fear of falling decrease your activity level. Getting together with friends and family, walking, going to activities at the local senior center, or going shopping, to dinner, the movies, etc. helps you stay healthy. There are many things as older Americans you can do to prevent yourself from falling.
Most of the time falls and or accidents don’t just happen, and here are few hints to help you as an older American avoid falls and broken bones. Older Americans if you stay active and exercise this will help keep you joints, tendons, and ligaments flexible. In addition, some mild weight-bearing exercises like walking or climbing stairs may slow the bone loss many older Americans receive from osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease that makes bones weak and more likely to break, and it is not just a problem women have, men can be affected by it also as they get older. Moreover, individuals with Osteoporosis just a minor fall may be dangerous and therefore create the decrease in activity.
Older Americans on medication, make sure you know if any medication you are taking can make you dizzy or sleepy. In addition, if you find the medicine makes you dizzy or sleepy, notify your doctor and/or pharmacist immediately. This is a good way to decrease your chances of falling, by know what medicine does make you dizzy or sleepy and do not take this medicine before any type of activity or exercise. Sleep is very important for older Americans, get enough sleep, being sleepy increases your chances of falling. Also limit your alcohol intake; sometimes in older Americans even a small amount of alcohol can affect not only your reflexes but also your balance.
Older Americans that are already have some balance and gait difficulties, remember to stand up slowly, because if you stand up quickly your blood pressure could drop and make you feel shaky. Use a walking stick or can if you need help with balance. If you already are using a can or walker, make sure it is the right size for you. This is important because you could be walking in an area that has uneven walkways/sidewalks. In addition, everyone should be careful walking on wet surfaces, you could slip. Furthermore, always wear non-skid, rubber-soled, low-heeled shoes, or some form of lace-up shoes, with non-skid soles that fully support your feet. Do not walk up stairs in socks, slippers, or shoes with smooth soles.
Keeping your home fall risk free is very easy. Keep electrical cords, telephone wires near the walls and out of walkways. Older Americans if you do get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, make sure you have a night light in your bedroom, hallway, and bathroom. Walking around in the dark increases your risk of falling, and breaking a bone. Older Americans are repeatedly falling from standing on a chair to reach for something. To avoid this and decrease your fall risk obtain a reach stick, a special grabbing stool that can be brought at many hardware stores, or medical supply stores, and ensure you have a least a couple of different lengths.
For you older American pet owners don’t let your dog or cat trip you. Of course this requires you know where your pet is at all times. Always keep emergency numbers by each phone in your house and in large print. There are many ways to ensure your home is fall risk free or at least falls are highly unlikely. Many state and local governments have programs for education and/or home modification programs. Here are a few websites to check out to decrease your chances of falls. The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc, the National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modification at http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc, and the National Institute on Aging Information Center at http://www.nia.nih.gov, and keep yourself safe from falls which could lead to broken bones.