Se­nior Care

Here are strate­gies to keep you safe from in­jury.

Health & Nutrition - - CONTENTS -

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

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