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Careful! How to Avoid Falling as You Age

There are few things as scary as falling when we get older.  Because our bodies change as we age, a fall isn’t the same as when we were younger.  Where you used to just jump back up, now you have to worry about injury and possibly a ride to the hospital.  How can you avoid falling?  While there is no foolproof answer, there are many things you can do to make it less likely that you will experience a fall.

Exercise

You read that right.  Exercise will improve your balance and make it less likely that you will fall.  The Mayo Clinic web site has some great exercises specifically targeting balance.  One of the most basic is the Weight Shift.  Standing with feet hip-width apart, lean onto your right foot and lift your left foot off the floor.  Stay in that position for 30 seconds, then return to the original position.  Switch sides and repeat.  The better you get at it, the more reps you should do.

Fall-Proof Your Home

There are many things you can do in the home to prevent falls.

  • Make sure to install safety bars for getting in and out of the shower.
  • Be sure to have two handrails on any stairs, and use them both when going up or down.
  • Clear walkways within and outside the home.

Listen to the Doctor

If you are advised to use a walker or a cane, do so!  It doesn’t hurt to err on the side of caution when the risk is a fall.  People tend to think they can still do things the way they used to, and don’t listen to their doctor.  Don’t like the walker or cane?  Get a fun cane, or add stickers to the walker to personalize it.  These tools are there to help so take advantage of them!

There are many ways to avoid falling, and we have covered only a few recommendations here.  If you would like more information on how to avoid a fall, contact us.  We will be glad to talk to you in more detail about steps you can take to avoid a fall.