Here are strategies to keep you safe from injury.
tactics to save yourself from injuries
Falls are prevalent among seniors, and while most falls don’t cause serious injuries, many do. Overall, falling can set an older adult on a downward spiral that results in constant pain, loss of independence, increasing frailty, and early mortality. A recent meta-analysis (‘Journal of the American Medical Society’) assessed the benefits of fall-prevention interventions among about 42,000 people. Here’s what the researchers recommend to help you stay on your feet as you age.
1GEt PLEntY OF ExERciSE
Exercise boosts muscle strength and bone density as you age. Lack of activity raises your risk for the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis, which makes you more susceptible to fractures if you fall. Adults aged 65 and older who are in good health should aim to meet the federal exercise recommendation of at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (such as brisk walking), or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise (such as jogging). Also engage in muscle-strengthening resistance exercises on two or more days per week. You should discuss with your doctor how much physical activity is safe for you if you’ve led a sedentary lifestyle, have any underlying health issues, or are trying to get fit again after illness, injury, or surgery. Aim to build your fitness up gradually if you haven’t been very active previously.
2 BOOSt YOUR BALAncE
Several studies have suggested that the Chinese marital art tai chi can reduce the risk of injurious falls. Ask at your local gym or about tai chi sessions for seniors, and keep in mind that exercises that strengthen your core also can benefit your balance. Sturdy, non-slip shoes aid balance too and if you wear slippers at home, choose options with rubber soles that grip the floor.
3 MOnitOR MEdicAtiOnS
Some medications – for example, blood pressure medications, sleep medications, and antidepressants – may raise the risk of falls. If you take any drugs for health issues, take them with you to every doctor’s visit so they can be reviewed. This is especially important if you see several different doctors who are not aware of what drugs you are taking, since it is possible you may be prescribed drugs that ‘double up’ on something else you’re taking. If you suffer from dizziness or drowsiness after taking any drug, let your doctor know immediately.
4 HAvE REGULAR viSiOn cHEckS
an You should get eye exam every year to ensure that eyeglass prescriptions are up-to-date, and monitor for age-related eye conditions.
You should get an eye exam every year to ensure that eyeglass prescriptions are