Stuff happens when you get older. The kids grow up and move out. You change jobs or retire. You take up a new hobby, travel, or spend more time with the people you care about most. Sounds pretty good, right? Growing older is a natural part of life and can be enjoyable. But there are also a few things about aging that aren’t quite as rosy, like falling.
Did you know every 13 seconds a senior-aged adult is treated at a hospital for a fall-related injury? Sometimes it’s a scrape or sprain. Sometimes it’s a broken bone, and sometimes it’s more serious. If you’re a senior, or know someone who is, preventing falls falls is important for overall health. Here are some things you can do:
You don’t have to run a marathon, but being active, even as you age is important. Exercise like walking, yoga, tai chi, and swimming strengthens your muscles, improves balance, and makes your bones stronger. Try to be active at least 30 minutes a day.
Take a walk through your house and look for places where you might be likely to fall. Some common causes for falls include wood floors or linoleum, bathtub or shower, a dimly lit hallway or staircase, throw rugs, stools, and other tripping hazards. Practice prevention by removing these hazards, or making modifications, like adding hand rails, to reduce your risk for falling.
Schedule a check-up
If you’re wondering about your risk of falling, make an appointment to see your doctor. Your doctor can examine your gait and balance, and identify other factors that could contribute to a potential fall like hearing or vision problems, and medications.
Join a support group
Many senior centers, health clubs, and hospitals host support groups to help people your age stay active and enjoy social interaction with others. Find a support group in your area.
There’s at least one more thing that changes as you age. Your dietary needs. When you’re a senior, you probably won’t be eating like you did when you were younger. A healthy diet that’s low in sodium works well for many seniors. Hungry? Check out the selection of entrees on the Senior Special Diet menu.