Seniors can prevent falls and maintain independence

Fall PreventionTwenty-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.

Declutter.

  • A third of falls happen in the home.
  • People usually trip over something on the floor.

Make your home safer.

  • 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.

Exercise.

  • 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.

Review medications.

  • 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.

Take care of your eyes.

  • Reduced depth perception, visual acuity and increased sensitivity to glare increase your chances of falling.
  • Get regular eye exams.
  • Clean your glasses.

Prevent osteoporosis.

  • If you fall and have osteoporosis, your bones will be more likely to break.
  • Get plenty of exercise, calcium and vitamin D.

Robert W. Ferguson, D.C., F.I.A.M.A., state-licensed chiropractor and acupuncturist, sees patients at 2250 W. 86th Street, Ste. 100, on the north side of Indianapolis by Le Peep restaurant. Just look for the orange sign.

Chiropractic Rehabilitation & Acupuncture now accepts Healthy Indiana Plan for chiropractic services, and most insurance for chiropractic therapy and acupuncture.

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