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Simple steps to reduce your risk of falling as you age

Simple steps to reduce your risk of falling as you age
Simple steps to reduce your risk of falling as you age


One in four older adults in the United States falls each year, resulting in injuries, fractures, and Even death.

Falls have become a growing public health concern with record numbers of people falling across the country. 65 — Present and future. But while falls are common, they are not inevitable.

“The more research we do, the more we find that falls are not necessarily necessary for healthy aging,” says Kara McDermott, who studies falls at Duke University School of Medicine.

Here are some recommendations to reduce the risk of falling:

Start with the organization of your home: remove small area rugs, change to dim lighting, and avoid storing pots and pans in hard-to-reach places.

Next, aim to add more stability to areas where people are likely to lose their balance: Install grab bars on both sides of stairs, grab bars in bathrooms, and anti-slip tape on wood or tile floors.

It's also important to keep your home clean – don't leave things on the floor and clean up spills before they dry and become difficult to deal with.

Consider using a walker or cane to help you stay stable, but make sure it's appropriate for your height and that you know how to use it properly.

The National Institute on Aging The complete guide is available on the website Here are some tips to help you fall-proof your home room by room.

It's important to remember the basics of Newton's First Law: an object in motion stays in motion. So if you've fallen before and are worried you might fall again, staying active can help prevent future problems.

There are many exercises that can help prevent falls, even if you have limited mobility, such as chair yoga, tai chi, and walking.

“It doesn't mean you have to go out and run a marathon or anything like that, just do functional movement,” McDermott says.

Make exercise fun and social by exercising with others in a group or playing with your grandchildren.

The key is to know your limitations and do what your doctor says is appropriate.

Many medicines can have side effects that can make you dizzy, drowsy, or otherwise upset your balance.

McDermott said seniors should talk to their doctor about all the medications they're taking and how taking them together might affect them, as their doctor or pharmacist can see the big picture and help them find alternatives that don't upset the balance.

But, she added, “We would never recommend that someone stop taking a medication without first talking to their prescribing physician.”

Changes in hearing, vision and other senses are common as we age and may contribute to falls. Make sure you have your hearing and vision checked regularly.

Bone health is also important.

of Mayo Clinic An estimated 10 million Americans have osteoporosis, which weakens their bones and makes them more likely to break when they fall.

Taking vitamin D and calcium can help improve bone health, and your doctor can also test your bone density and recommend treatment if needed.

Recognize that falls can result from a combination of factors and implement some of the suggestions above to reduce your risk.

And if you do fall, even if it seems minor, let your doctor know: falls can have far-reaching consequences, so the underlying causes need to be addressed to prevent falling from becoming a habit.

“It's probably a one-time thing, but it's best to get tested anyway,” McDermott said.


The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The AP is solely responsible for all content.




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