Twenty-five percent of seniors who fall and break a hip require life-long nursing care. Fifty percent of older patients who fall can no longer live in their home. A nursing home becomes necessary.
Why are you more likely to fall as you get older?
- You just aren’t as coordinated when you can’t hear or see as well.
- Your reaction time slows because nerves fray that carry information from your brain to your muscles.
- You can’t move as easily when you’re weaker and less flexible.
To avoid falling, educate yourself. Then be confident.
- Too often, seniors are afraid of falling so limit activities.
- This makes them more likely to fall.
- A third of falls happen in the home.
- People usually trip over something on the floor.
- Install more lighting.
- Add grab bars and nonskid mats in bathrooms.
- Sleep on a lower height bed that’s easier to get in and out of.
- Wipe up floor spills immediately.
- Avoid floor polish and wax in the kitchen so the floor won’t be as slippery.
- Use contrasting colors on counter tops and grab bars to help you see them.
- Warm up slowly to avoid injury.
- Stretch to keep joints flexible.
- Strengthen to build bone strength and slow progression of the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis.
- Ask your doctor if a lower dose of medications that cause dizziness might work.
- Multiple medications increase risk.
- Don’t drink alcohol when taking medication.
- Reduced depth perception, visual acuity and increased sensitivity to glare increase your chances of falling.
- Get regular eye exams.
- Clean your glasses.
- If you fall and have osteoporosis, your bones will be more likely to break.
- Get plenty of exercise, calcium and vitamin D.
Email state licensed chiropractor and acupuncturist Robert W. Ferguson, D.C., F.I.A.M.A., at firstname.lastname@example.org.