Woman With CaneAs we age, falls become one of the biggest risks we face. 1 out of 3 people over the age of 65 fall each year—and only half are able to return to an independent life. And most falls are preventable!

One of the first steps of fall preventions is knowing the cause—and while you should take precautions like installing safety railings, no-slip rugs and bath mats, bright lights, etc., you should also carefully read the side-effects of all medications you may be taking. Some may cause dizziness, faintness, etc. Illnesses can cause these same side-effects, so you should rest in bed as much as possible when you’re ill (this will also let your immune system do it’s best to get you better!).

Low blood-sugar can also be a risk factor—keep snacks handy, and eat a healthy diet. A diet high in processed sugars and junk will make your blood sugar sky-rocket and crash, even if you eat three meals a day.

If you find yourself having trouble walking, balancing, or otherwise moving, don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor. They might be able to identify a treatable cause, or recommend physical therapy that can help you maintain mobility and teach you how to get around safely.

And don’t forget to support your bones!

-Exercise maintains bone strength as we age. Bone loss starts as young as thirty! While water aerobics, etc. are good cardio exercise that are easy on the joints, you need impact exercise like walking to really encourage bone strength.

-Take a good calcium supplement so there’s never a doubt your body has enough (and read medication labels carefully, some may block calcium absorption or cause loss, so you shouldn’t take them at the same time as your supplement).

If you find yourself falling, go limp! Try to land on your bottom or your side, and roll to a natural stop rather than risk twisting/breaking a wrist, knee, or ankle.

Get up from a fall safely:

-Try to keep a cordless phone (or even a cell phone) with you at all times, in case you’re alone when you fall.

1) Wait a second to assess whether you have injuries, and then move slowly—don’t risk another fall by getting up too quickly!

2) If you think you’re hurt, call for help.

3) If you’re not injured, turn your head toward the direction you fell, and get up on your knees from a side-lying position. You may want to crawl over to a stable piece of furniture and use it to pull yourself up: put both hands on the seat of a chair/couch, relying on your strongest wrist and knee (but still using the other for stability). Turn slowly and sit down.

Most falls happen around the house. What are your prevention tips?


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