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Falling Down - A problem that is rising

Sadly as we get older, our physical prowess begins to diminish. Stairs we used to leap in a single bound become more of a challenge with each passing year. According to the CDC, one out of every three adults aged 65 and older falls each year. Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of injury death, non-fatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma.While there is nothing to be done to prevent the effects of aging, there are many things that can be done to mitigate the tendency to fall:

  • Exercise - Exercise regularly with a focus on improving balance and increasing leg strength. Don't expect a miracle overnight; all exercise regimes take time to show results.
  • Check your medications - Review your medications with your doctor, both prescription and OTC, to identify any that may cause dizziness or drowsiness alone or in combination with others.
  • Eye exams - Have your vision checked regularly and keep your eyeglasses up to date to have the best vision possible.
  • Check your home for tripping hazards - Keep floors uncluttered, locate cords and wiring away from walking areas, check throw rugs for slippage (if they slip easily, secure with double sided tape.)
  • Bathroom - Consider grab bars around the tub or shower and around the toilet. Use a non-skid mat in the bottom of the tub.
  • Stairs - Make sure to have railing on both sides of stairways and that the rails run the length of the stairway. Have enough lighting in the stairway to illuminate it completely with switches at both the top and bottom.

Home is where we spend the most time and where most falls occur. Take a little time to look things over and make the necessary improvements. In doing so, you will be well on the way to making yourself safer and healthier.

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