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Risk For Falls Among The Elderly
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the risk for falls by seniors is a major concern. In fact, each year, one in every three adults age 65 and older suffers from falls which can lead to moderate to severe injuries such as hip fractures or head traumas. Fortunately, falls are preventable if precautions are taken.

6 Tips for Helping Older Adults to Avoid Debilitating Falls

Exercise or Take Part in Activities Regularly – Elderly people need to remain as active as possible to minimize the risk for falls. Exercises such as stretching and Tai Chi will improve balance and leg strength while weight programs can improve muscle tone. Walking can improve cardiovascular health and increase endurance. Always consult with a physician before starting an exercise or physical activity program.

Avoid Medication Interaction Issues – Encourage seniors to consult with a physician to ensure that prescription and / or over-the-counter medicines are not interacting with each other which can cause dizziness or drowsiness.

Maintain Proper Vision – Elderly people need to have their eyes checked annually to detect any issues and to update eyeglass prescriptions to maximize vision.

Maintain Safe Home Environments – Have an assessment performed of an elderly person’s living space to eliminate hazards such as throw rugs, electrical cords near walking areas, and overcrowded living areas. Also, ensure that there is proper lighting including night lights from the bedroom to the bathroom and kitchen.

Avoid and / or Treat Osteoporosis – Seniors need to be getting adequate calcium and vitamin D in their diets which includes consuming proper foods and taking supplements. They should also be screened regularly for osteoporosis and treated for the condition.

Education and Encouragement – Spend time to educate the elderly about the importance of fall prevention and the serious consequences of falls. This can be done with written materials and with consistent reminders. Many seniors minimize the negative impact of falling, either from lack of information or denial. In addition, elderly people can suffer from depression which can lead to falling due to lack of focus and interest in the world around them.

There brochures and other information available from the CDC that can provide critical information about falls and how to prevent them. Check out http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/falls/adultfalls.html to learn more about the serious risk of falls among the elderly and its economic and social impact on society as a whole.

Find out how you can help an elderly family member or friend remain active and healthy at the Keep Seniors Active web site. Steven Watson, PhD has been a small business owner for over 10 years and a manager for 18 years. He previously owned a home health agency that specialized in elderly clients and currently owns a copywriting and resume company in the Tallahassee, FL area. Steven has an 86-year old mother and has a special interest in informing others about how to keep elderly parents or friends safe and healthy.


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