As we age, we become less aware of where our feet are. Because the aging process happens gradually, we don’t realize that things we ignored in our earlier years can injure or even kill us later on. A pile of magazines or newspapers left on the floor, an unsecured throw rug, lamp cords and poor lighting on the way to the bathroom have tripped up many older adults. The following information and tips will help you avoid fall-related injuries and disability.
What are the Causes of Falling in the Elderly
- Our physical responses, vision, recovery mechanisms and inner-ear functions become less dependable.
- Decline in muscle strength and joint flexibility can affect the ability to stand, walk and change positions.
- We aren’t as active as we were
- Heart disease, lower-back pain, arthritis or neurological problems, such as Parkinson’s disease, can compromise balance by causing changes in the gait.
- Osteoporosis, increases the risk of injury and disability from falls.
- Medications can cause dizziness, increasing likelihood of falls. Combining several medications or taking them with alcohol magnifies the risk.
Keep Your Balance
- We can help you tailor an exercise program to your needs to improve your flexibility and coordination.
- Tai chi (an Asian exercise program) which consists of gentle dance-like moves have been proven to improve balance.
- Walking and water workouts also benefit balance and strengthen the lower body.
- To prevent osteoporosis, eat calcium-rich foods, such as yogurt, cheese, fish, broccoli, soybeans, collard and turnip greens, as well as tofu and almonds.
- Vitamin D is key to proper calcium absorption. Spending time in the sunlight helps the body form vitamin D.
- Spinal manipulation therapy, manipulation of extremities and specific rehabilitation exercises can help increase your awareness of where your body is in space, reducing the risk of falling.
Fall-Proof Your Home
- Use rubber mats on slippery surfaces.
- Reduce clutter.
- Move low furniture, cords and wires out of your way.
- Make sure you have adequate lighting.
- Install handrails on stairways.
- Install a raised toilet seat and place grab bars near the toilet and in the bathtub or shower.
Reduce Your Risk of Falling
- Have your vision and hearing checked regularly.
- Always stand up slowly after sitting or lying down. Quickly changing positions may drop your blood pressure, causing dizziness.
- To reach objects above your head, use reach sticks or special grabbing tools.
- Use a cane, walking stick or walker, especially on uneven or unfamiliar paths.
- Use sand or salt on wet and icy surfaces to make them safer.
Avoid fall-related injuries and disability as you age, contact Dr. Linda at 773-385-9432
Trackback from your site.