Sometimes slips and falls happen unexpectedly, we wanted to share our 5 simple tips for yourself or loved one and how to avoid these types of incidents. Individuals over the age of 65 have the highest risk of injury or death caused by falling. So, how can we reduce the risk? Most people believe that overall eating healthy and maintaining a balanced lifestyle is really important, but as we age our physical responses, sense of balance, strength, and endurance start to decline.
1. Balance yourself with Yoga or Pilates
This is a fantastic form of exercise to help with balance, strength, flexibility, and posture. It can improve reaction time and can lower the risk of a fall. Yoga can be very relaxing and de-stressing as well for the mind and body. We recommend Yoga and or Pilates in your everyday routine or you can do sessions for 60 minutes 2-3 times a week. Regular exercise is very important, but for some individuals, its more difficult using weights, running, or machines. Yoga and Pilates can involve more elastic bands, foam rollers, and supported mats.
2. Keep note of pill quantities and routine
As we age, sometimes its more difficult to keep track of prescriptions. It’s important to keep note and make a schedule for each pill to avoid dizziness or distortion. Taking too many pills could also lead to sleepiness, which could then lead to a slip or fall. Seniors who tend to take more than one pill per day are at a higher risk for pill mix-ups. Labeling could be one way to keep organized, having a family member or friend assist with reminders is also helpful.
3. Change Home Surroundings
The next step could be making some home environment changes. That could be to install handrails/grab bars, adjusting furniture positions, incorporate a “handy device” such as a walker or cane to assist with balance. Increasing more lighting or removing anything unsafe throughout the home is good. It’s important to change the physical environment to assist with overall living standards.
4. Make sure to Take Your Vitamins!
Vitamins are a great source to help with calcium and vitamin D. Here are a few examples of foods that have an excellent source of Calcium. One of the easiest sources would be milk or Soy Milk. Dairy milk contains about 275-350mg per cup. It’s a good source of potassium, magnesium, proteins and has vitamins A, B1, B2, B12, and D. Another option is to eat dark greens, including; spinach, kale, arugula, and watercress. Cheese is fantastic (i.e. parmesan, cheddar, Emmental), are the leaders of calcium content, contains 330mg of calcium. You can add it to eggs, salads, sandwiches, or veggies. Reduced-fat varieties of feta, ricotta, or cottage cheese might be better options that are still rich in calcium. Other options would be almonds, beans/lentils, yogurt, and firm tofu.
Calcium is a very important vitamin to maintain in your daily food intake. Without having calcium or vitamin D in the body, it could lead to Osteoporosis, which is a bone disease that can weaken bone strength, weaken the muscles, cause breaks, and could to lead to serious falls.
5. Just Keep Moving – Don’t Let a Fall Stop You
When individuals get older, our bodies weaken, and we lose muscle mass, and the strength, because our bodies constantly change over time. The lack of mobility can add more risk to slips or falls throughout our everyday life. It’s important to keep up regular physical activities in moderation. This could include weighted activities to reduce risk. Some older adults believe that after a slip happens, to protect themselves from it happening again, they discontinue movement and activities. But at the time it may seem sensible, it can actually increase the chance of a fall a second time. Examine your current lifestyle, and make adjustments accordingly. There is always a good time to decrease the risks and be confident to make changes and reduce the risk for yourself or a loved one.
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