Act Now to Prevent Falls Later

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It’s an easy mistake to push our future health needs out of sight and mind. Why worry now if you’re feeling strong and healthy in your 50s, 60s or 70s? The truth is, that the actions we take now are critical for our health later, especially when it comes to fall prevention.

Many of us can get caught thinking, “Well, that’s a concern for other people, but not for me.” As you help your parents through life’s transitions, you might think that because they haven’t fallen to this point, it’s nothing to worry about for now.

The National Council on Aging and the CDC report that:

  • More than 1 out of every 4 Americans over 65 fall each year.
  • Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults.
  • Falls result in more than 3 million injuries treated in emergency departments each year.
  • The cost of treating injuries caused by falls is projected to increase to over $100 billion by 2030.
  • By 2030, researchers predict there will be 7 deadly falls every hour in the U.S.

With these risks in mind, now is the time to incorporate simple lifestyle changes and habits into your daily routine, or those of your parents, that will pay dividends down the road.
 

Five Actions to Take Now to Prevent Falls Later

1. Physical Exercise

Maintaining physical wellness is key to the balance, stability, and strength that we need to stay upright and prevent falls. Physical exercise must begin before we need it. You don’t need to be running marathons, but you do need to be moving your body in some fashion every day. Our friends at Growing Bolder have created the Bolder Balance Program with certified personal trainer Trish Walsh, which you can watch for free here. It’s full of simple stretches, poses, and exercises to help you maintain your balance for decades to come.

woman exercising
 

2. Declutter Your Home

When was the last time you thought about the odds and ends and physical “stuff” you have amassed over the years? Our senior relocation specialists are experts whose decluttering services can change your life. It can be tough deciding what to keep and what to discard, but with a team by your side, the physical labor is taken care of, and your house will be clear of hazardous clutter that could cause someone to trip and fall in their later years. Things like old throw rugs, excessive furniture, lamp cords, and more that seem fine now could be problematic down the road. For more, check out our decluttering tips for seniors here.
 

3. Add Safety Measures to Your Home

Just as it is crucial to take away the unnecessary mess and clutter from our lives, we can also add safety measures to our home during a life transition as well. Whether for yourself or an aging loved one, consider adding safety railings to stairs, grab bars in bathrooms, non-slip mats to tubs, and extra lights to dim areas of your house.
 

4. Stay hydrated

Experts agree that a critical component of falls prevention is to stay hydrated. If you incorporate proper water consumption into your routine now, it will already be a natural habit in your later years. Make daily goals to consume more water, which will help your body in so many ways beyond just a part of falls prevention. To make this habit stick the CDC recommends carrying a reusable water bottle with you during the day, serving water at your home during meals, and avoiding sugary drinks whenever possible.
 

5. Maintain Routine Checkups and Health Screenings

Don’t wait until a fall happens to hear a doctor tell you that your vision is impaired, you aren’t receiving proper nutrition, or another preventable health problem. Keep up with your routine checkups with your physician. Experts point to foot health and good vision and hearing as the three main health keys to preventing falls.

Falls can happen to you or a loved one, but the good news is they are preventable. Incorporate these daily keys into your lifestyle now, so they become routines that pay off down the road when you need your balance and stability most.

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